Coming up from Japan at 2350 GMT on Wednesday 28 February 2018

Retail sales data for January

  • For the m/m, expected is -0.6%, prior was +0.9%

  • For the y/y, expected is +2.4%, prior was +3.6%

January industrial production (preliminary)

  • For the m/m, expected is -4.0%, prior was +2.9%

  • For the y/y, expected is +5.3%, prior was +4.4%

Here is a what to expect on IP via Nomura, looking for a bigger fall than consensus (bolding mine):

We forecast the January 2018 industrial production index to show a fall of 4.5% m-o-m, the first drop in production for four months.

Manufacturers' production plans called for a decline of 4.3% m-o-m in January, partly reflecting a sharp projected decline in production of transportation equipment owing to the protracted impact from issues related to the final inspection of vehicles.

  • Indicators related to the industrial production index were not bad in January. The Japanese manufacturing PMI output index was 54.7 and the current conditions DI for manufacturers in the Economy Watchers Survey (seasonally adjusted) was 52.3, both indicating healthy sentiment.
  • However, month-on-month changes of 0.2 points and -4.6 points, respectively, point to momentum being lackluster. Japanese real exports, which have a strong correlation with industrial production, were also weak, falling 0.6% m-o-m (our estimate).

In light of this, we expect a sharp decline in production, as projected by initial production plans for January. However, production plans project an increase for February, and since January production plans do not call for a wide-ranging decline in production in the manufacturing sector as a whole, we think the decline in production in January will be a one-off phenomenon. As such, even if there is a sharp fall in production in January, we do not think it would warrant special attention.