Retail sales in Japan dropped 2.6 per cent during December compared to figures from the previous year.
The details were released in a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry report last Friday, and stood in contrast to median market forecasts for a decline of just 1.8 per cent.
According to an RTT news article, the sales rate was still above a seasonally adjusted 0.2 per cent on numbers for November, less than the expected 1.2 per cent gain following a 4.5 percent increase during that month. November sales had dropped 2.1 per cent year on year.
Sales for large-scale retailers were strongly affected with a full 3 per cent year-on-year drop, compared to a projected fall of 2.5 per cent.