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Reflecting a continued economic slump, domestic auto sales declined 8 percent in May to 294,211 units against the same period last year, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Monday.

It is the 14th straight monthly decline since the consumption tax was raised to 5 percent in April 1997. Despite a series of new models introduced this year by the nation’s automakers, passenger car sales showed only a slight increase of 0.1 percent to 210,813 units, the association said.

Out of these, sales of cars with an engine displacement of more than 2,000 cc rose 0.3 percent to 45,780 units while sales of smaller passenger cars posted 165,033 units, up slightly from the 164,986 units posted a year ago.

Affected most were sales of trucks, which dropped 23.9 percent to 82,614 units due mainly to the drop in public works projects. Sales of buses also slipped, by 1.1 percent, to 784 units, the association said.

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