14 December 2005, 09:47  Japan: Department store sales in Tokyo rose 4.3 pct in November

Department store sales in Tokyo rose 4.3 pct in November from a year earlier to 172.7 bln yen, the Japan Department Stores Association said. That was the biggest year-on-year increase since September 2000 when sales rose by 5.4 pct, the association said. In October, sales at department stores in the capital were down 1.5 pct. A sustained rise in retail sales is being counted on to keep the Japanese economy on a recovery track amid sluggish exports. Consumer spending underpins 55 pct of the economy, and lately has been increasing due to a marked improvement in labor market conditions. But economists want to see if that trend will continue amid concerns that global economic growth may slow due to still high oil prices. In November, sales rose in five of the eight product categories and fell in the other three, the department stores association said. Sales of clothing, the largest product category accounting for 37.6 pct of total revenue, increased 8.2 pct from a year earlier. Sales of food, the second-largest category at 23.8 pct of the total, were up 0.4 pct. Sales of furniture and home appliances, the third-largest category at 16.0 pct of the total, gained 6.4 pct. Sales of personal belongings such as handbags, jewelry and accessories, the fourth-largest category accounting for 11.9 pct of total revenue, jumped 7.3 pct. Sales of everyday household products, the fifth-largest category with 5.6 pct share, were down 8.7 pct. Sales at store restaurants and cafeterias, accounting for 2.3 pct, fell 1.8 pct. Revenue from services, a small category accounting for just 1.0 pct of total sales, rose 7.9 pct, and sales of miscellaneous items, another minor category that make up 1.8 pct of the total, declined 7.2 pct

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