Japan’s Retail Sales Increase Strongly

Japanese retail sales rose the most in four months, a sign the economy is shaking off a blow from a sales-tax increase in April as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe weighs another bump in the levy.

Sales climbed 2.7 percent in September from August when they rose 1.9 percent, the trade ministry said today in Tokyo. For the third quarter, sales were up 1.4 percent from a year earlier after a 1.8 percent drop in the second quarter.

The stronger sales could bolster proponents of a further rise in the levy, as debate heats up over whether the world’s third-biggest economy can bear the burden. Abe is set to decide on the tax by the end of the year, taking into account the strength of the economy.


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