Press release

"JCB Consumption NOW" published the latest Japanese comsumption trend. In the first half of March, many industry experienced double-digit negative growth rates yoy: supermarkets and e-commerce grew steadily, but restaurant, transportation, accommodation,

April 1, 2020 (Wed)

A subsidiary of Finatext Holdings, Inc. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Ryota Hayashi), Nowcast Inc. (Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Hitoshi Tsujinaka), a company that analyzes and analyzes big data, and JCB Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Chairman, President and CEO: Ichiro Hamakawa; hereinafter: JCB) provided "JCB Consumption NOW", credit card transaction data service that enables you to understand the trend of consumer activities in Japan on a real time basis by business sectors by utilizing credit card members’ payment and attribute data as statistical data, the trend that was never covered well so far.
Today, we release parts of the preliminary data for the first half of March (March 1st-March 15th) of "JCB Consumption NOW". Please refer to the attached sheet, Topics①: Rapid increase in cancellation transaction, and Topics②: Reference series, if you want to get to know about industries such as 'Transportation', 'Amusement', 'Accomodation', and 'Travel'.

[Overview: First half of March]
・Both “Retail (goods)” and “Services” deteriorated significantly from the second half of February. “Comprehensive” decreased by 7.7% from the previous year, the biggest downturn since the start of record (April 2016), exceeding even the slump after tax increase in the first half of October 2019 (-6.5%). “Service (-9.0%)” also dropped to the largest extent since the start of measurement.
・Although “Supermarket (+ 14.0%)” maintained an increase, “Department store (-9.1)” dropped significantly. ・ “EC (+ 4%)” increased after the second half of February.
・"Restaurant(-10%)", especially “Izakaya (-11. 4%)”, declined significantly ・"Transportation (-13.4)" such as "Airline passenger (-14.0)" and "Railway passenger (-11.4)" and "Accomodation (-12.9%)" such as "Business hotel (-11.5)", "Travel (- 12.5%) "is increasing more widely.
・Amusements (-6.4%), such as "cinemas (-20.8%)" and "amusement parks (-53.1%)," deteriorated significantly.

* In the second half of February, the number of holidays increased by one day (Emperor's birthday) and the number of days increased by one day in leap years compared to the previous year.
* "JCB Consumption NOW" is created using payment data of 1 million randomly sampled JCB card members. It does not include inbound consumption as it focuses on domestic members.
* This figure is a partial excerpt. If you want to use the data, please contact Nowcast or JCB.
* When quoting graphs, etc., please write “Source: Nowcast / JCB”.

■ Topics①: Cancellations surge in “leisure consumption” of “travel”, “transportation” and “Accommodation”
In "JCB Consumption NOW", in the first half of March, industries such as “Transportation”, “Accommodation” and “Travel” showed a sharp decline. It should be noted that the number of “cancellations” in these industries increased rapidly in the first half of March.
The figure below shows the transition in the ratio of the cancellation amount to the consumption amount. In the transportation, accomodation, and travel industries, the cancellation ratio increased in the first half of March, with especially travel cancellations accounting for 95% of the whole travel consumption.
It is probable that after the occurrence of COVID-19, the movement to cancel the planned trip became widespread. Since in the published series of "JCB Consumption NOW", the consumption (purchase) amount at the "point of reservation" is included in gross regardless of whether or not cancellation has been made, it is likely that the actual figures of leisure consumption have fallen further from this preliminary figures published this time, when we take into account this rapid increase in cancellation amount.

■ Topics②: We start calculating “additional series”
"JCB Consumption NOW", which captures the "actual situation of overall consumption including cash" from credit card data, usually removes the effects of increases and decreases in the number of card users to prevent bias in figures due to events specific to credit cards analyzed in the form and provides the index.
The impact of COVID-19 on consumption is due to the closure of commercial facilities and theme parks, suspension of travel, etc., and the number of consumers per se has decreased in industries such as transportation, entertainment, accommodation, and travel. Taking these aspects into account, this time, the “reference series” using an unusual analysis method was calculated for all items (comprehensive, and by industry). We are considering continuing to provide "Reference Series" in the future. If you have some requests for long-term time series or other industry data, please contact us at the bottom of the press release.

* As a premise of this analysis, Tsutomu Watanabe, Nowcast Technical Advisor and professor of Economics at the University of Tokyo, wrote a report on the differences between the normal distribution series and the reference series, and their usefulness.
Please check from the link below.

■"JCB Consumption NOW" Click here for a one-month free trial

■ About "JCB Consumption NOW"
"JCB Consumption NOW" provides 38 industry-specific consumption indexes classified into macros and micros, including a comprehensive consumption index that shows all consumption trends regardless of industry. It also has data by attributes such as gender, region, and age, so it enables you to analyze consumption trends from multiple angles. In addition, since data is compiled and distributed in about two weeks, the immediacy is significantly improved compared to existing consumption statistics published by governments and other organizations. Currently, it is used by a wide variety of customers, including national and local government agencies, corporate marketing departments, financial institutions such as securities companies and investment banks, management consulting companies, and news organizations.
* We protect the personal information and privacy of JCB card members by creating a consumption index after anonymously processing the customer's personal attributes and payment information using the method prescribed by the Personal Information Protection Law.

■ About Nowcast Inc.
Nowcast is a leading alternative data company in Japan, and a Fintech venture company from the University of Tokyo, a company that uses big data analysis to "real-time economic statistics such as the CPI" and "visualize corporate management strategies". It was established in February 2015, from the Project "UTokyo daily price index (currently called Nikkei CPINow)" in the Tsutomu Watanabe Laboratory, Graduate School of Economics, the University of Tokyo. Currently, we are developing a wide range of alternative data services such as POS data, credit card data, etc., and supporting asset management and economic research operations of more than 250 domestic and overseas financial institutions, think tanks, governments, government financial institutions, overseas hedge funds, etc.

■ About Finatext Holdings Inc.
Company name: Finatext Holdings Inc.
Representative: Ryota Hayashi, CEO
Established: December 2013
Location: Sumitomo Real Estate Kudan-kitaBuilding, 4th floor, 3-2-2-11Kudan-kita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Business Content: Development of financial services, provision of infrastructure, big data analysis

■ About JCB Co., Ltd.
Established in 1961, as the only company operating a global card brand in Japan, it has expanded its network of member stores that can use JCB cards, and has expanded JCB card issuance with domestic and overseas partner companies, mainly in Asia. In addition, it has also developed various businesses that meet the expectations of customers and partner companies with the aim of becoming a comprehensive payment service company. JCB cards are used by more than 130 million people in Japan and overseas. (At the end of September 2019)

[Contact information regarding membership registration, free trial and data]
"JCB Consumption NOW" operation secretariat 
TEL: 03-6272-5550 MAIL:info@nowcast.co.jp

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