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Thursday, 28th May 2009
In Business In Japan,

Japanese retail sales continue to tumble

Japan's worst recession since World War II is continuing to affect the retail sector, which reported decreased sales for the eighth consecutive month.

Sales in April fell by 2.3 per cent as the impact of falling wages and low job security continued to influence the willingness of Japanese consumers to spend.

Department stores and supermarkets have been even more seriously affected, with sales falling by 6.7 per cent to continue a 13-month decline.

Part of the reason for the declining sales is the continued rise of unemployment, with the rate of joblessness increasing to 4.8 per cent in March and expected to increase further when figures for April are released.

Despite the continuing decline, the Bank of Japan and the Japanese government expressed their optimism earlier this week that the economy has already reached its lowest point, leading them to upgrade their economic forecasts for the first time since 2006.

Written by Susan Ballion