RTTNews - Japanese retail sales dropped 2.9 percent on year in April, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Thursday, coming in at 10.861 trillion yen to decline for the eighth consecutive month.

That was better than analyst expectations for a 3.3 percent annual decline following the revised 3.8 percent fall on year in March - which originally was pegged at -3.9 percent. Sales were down 5.7 percent in February.

The main reason for the decline was a fall in housing spending due to rising unemployment, the ministry said.

On a monthly basis, retail sales were up 0.6 percent - topping forecasts for a 0.5 percent increase after the 1.1 percent contraction in March.

Large retailer sales fell a seasonally adjusted 6.7 percent to 1.596 trillion yen - down for the 13th straight month. That was slightly better than forecasts for a 6.8 percent decline after the 8.1 percent fall in the previous month.

The data also showed that commercial sales were down 22.4 percent on year to 40.522 trillion yen after the 24.0 percent decline in the previous month. Wholesale sales plummeted an annual 27.8 percent to 29.661 trillion yen following the 29.2 percent contraction a month earlier.

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