Japan retail sales dropped -12.3% yoy in May, below expectation of -11.6% yoy. It’s also the second straight month of double-digit contraction, due to coronavirus pandemic and corresponding lockdown measures. Back in April, retail sales contracted -13.9% yoy, the worst since March 1998.

BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda warned last Friday that the second-round effects of the coronavirus pandemic could still hurt the economy “considerably”. Yet for now, it is “not necessary” to act to “further lower the entire yield curve”.

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