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Japan retail sales drop more than expected for 2nd month in November

The fall in Japan's retail sales slowed in November, but was more than expected, according to preliminary data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Retail sales declined 2.1% year over year in November, after a revised drop of 7.0% in October following a sales tax hike to 10.0% from 8.0%. The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for an annual decrease of 1.7%.

Motor vehicle sales dropped 5.9% on an annual basis in November, following a revised fall of 16.8% in October. Food and beverage sales saw a marginal increase of 0.4%, compared with a revised fall of 1.9% in the previous month.

General merchandise sales decreased 4.4% year over year in November, after falling 13.3% in the previous month, while machinery and equipment sales fell 7.8%, following a revised drop of 14.7% in October.

On a monthly basis, retail sales rebounded in November with a 4.5% rise, after plunging 14.2% in October.

As of Dec. 26, US$1 was equivalent to ¥109.67.