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Retail Sales In Big Retreat

RETAIL sales in Japan retreated by the biggest margin in seven years last month, the government said yesterday, as growing concerns about jobs and wages deepen.

Retail sales fell 5.8 percent from a year earlier to 9.98 billion yen (US$101 million) -- the sharpest decline since February 2002, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It's the sixth straight month that sales have fallen at department stores and supermarkets.

Japan's economy is also being pummeled by plunging demand for its cars and electronics abroad.


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