Supermarket sales fell 2.2% in May

Kyodo

Sales at supermarkets fell 2.2 percent in May from a year earlier on a same-store basis — the second consecutive monthly drop following the April 1 tax hike, an industry body said Monday.

The decline was smaller than the 5.4 percent dip posted in after the tax rate rose to 8 percent from 5 percent in April, indicating a potential recovery in consumer confidence.

Sales at 9,208 stores operated by 60 supermarket chains totaled ¥1.06 trillion, the Japan Chain Stores Association said.

Food sales, which accounted for 63.1 percent of all sales, were down 0.7 percent, while sales of household goods including furniture and consumer electronics — about a fifth of total sales — dropped 4.6 percent. Clothing sales were 6.5 percent lower.