Monthly commercial sales in May dipped 6.1 percent year-on-year to 42.41 trillion yen, marking a record 23 consecutive months of decline, according to a preliminary report issued Thursday by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

Of the total, wholesale sales accounted for 31.44 trillion yen, down 7 percent on a year-on-year basis, marking a consecutive decline of 20 months. Retail sales also slipped 3.5 percent year-on-year to 10.97 trillion yen, down for a record 26 straight months.

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