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Japanese retail sales lose momentum

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Japanese retail sales lose momentum

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Retail sales rose in Japan in May at their slowest annual pace in four months.

That implied that stimulus-driven consumption may be losing momentum.

Retail sales had surged since the start of this year, thanks to government subsidies for purchases of cars, electronics and other durable goods.

But analysts warned the effect is starting to wane as the subsidies expire, threatening Japan’s economic recovery.

Retail sales increased by 2.8 percent in May from a year earlier, the slowest pace since January.

That followed a 4.9 percent rise in April, the fastest annual increase since March 1997, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.