Japanese Retail Sales Declined for the First Time in Five Months

The Japanese government said today that retail sales fell 0.8% year-on-year in February due to measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. In addition, these measures could affect the outlook for the Japanese economy in the first quarter of this year.

In February, the Japanese government took action to control COVID-19 in most urban areas of the country after the number of infections reached a record high.

Although the Japanese government lifted nationwide spending cuts this week, households continued to curb spending as commodity prices surged on the back of rising global inflation and a weakening yen.

Global commodity prices, which have skyrocketed since the pandemic, have put the Japanese economy at risk, as Japan is highly dependent on energy and commodity imports.

The Japanese government wants to find a way to protect households and private companies from rising costs. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed officials to prepare a draft economic relief plan by the end of April.

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