Japan retail sales log biggest fall since 1998

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April 27, 2011 10:28 AM EST

Japanese retail sales fell 8.5 percent in March from a year earlier, logging their biggest year-on-year decline since March 1998, after a devastating earthquake and nuclear crisis battered consumer confidence, government data showed on Wednesday.

The drop was much bigger than a median market forecast for a 5.6 percent decline, the trade ministry data showed.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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