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Japanese retail sales returned to growth in January giving the best month-on-month result since November.

Retail sales grew 0.5 per cent month-on-month in January, coming in above a median of economists’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg of 0.3 per cent growth. Revised figures for December saw sales contract by 1.6 per cent.

This pushed the annual pace to 1 per cent in January, up from a revised 0.7 per cent (previously 0.6 per cent) and in line with forecasts.

Department store and supermarket sales fell 1.1 per cent in January, slightly above estimates of a 1 per cent fall and easing from a 1.3 per cent drop in December.

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