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Financial News: Japan's Jobless Rate Lowest Since 1994

Japan's Jobless Rate Lowest Since 1994

05/30/2017 - 01:09:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Japan's unemployment rate remained unchanged at the lowest level since 1994 and retail sales advanced unexpectedly in April, official data showed Tuesday.

The jobless rate held steady at 2.8 percent in April, the lowest since June 1994, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said. The rate also came in line with expectations.

The jobs-to-applicants ratio came in at 1.48 in April versus 1.45 in March. This was the highest since 1974 and marginally above the expected level of 1.46.

Meanwhile, another data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed that household spending decreased 1.4 percent from a year ago compared to the forecast of 0.9 percent drop.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, retail sales increased 1.4 percent month-on-month in March, confounding expectations for a 0.2 percent fall. On a yearly basis, sales advanced 3.2 percent, faster than the expected 2.3 percent.

Strong gains in retail sales and "core" household spending in April suggest that private consumption is on track for another solid increase in the second quarter, Marcel Thieliant, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

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