Jane Foley, Senior FX Strategist at Rabobank, suggests that the overnight release of Japanese February retail sales data showed a shockingly weak -2.3% m/m fall; this the biggest drop since April 2014 when consumption fell as a consequence of the first rise in the sales tax since 1997. Key Quotes “That said, overall household spending rose by a firmer than expected 1.2% y/y in February in its first rise since August. Reports have been circulating that PM Abe is planning to announce a fresh package of stimulus measures following continued slow growth and widespread criticism over the BoJ’s decision to experiment with negative interest rates on January 29. Although negative interest rates sparked concerns about bank profitability and, according to the WSJ, triggered a surge in demand for safes in Japan, the FT is reporting that Abe’s government has already saved Y80 bn due to the drop in yields triggered by the BoJ’s interest rate cut. Some LDP politicians are calling for a Y5 trn supplementary budget in an effort to boost growth.” For more information, read our latest forex news.