Combined shipments of beer and “happoshu,” a low-malt liquor, rose 3.7 percent in August compared to a year earlier to 654,050 kiloliters, according to data released Wednesday by the nation’s five major brewers.

Shipments of low-priced happoshu were up 42.2 percent from a year before to 185,469 kiloliters, while those of beer fell 6.3 percent to 468,581 kiloliters for the 17th straight month of decline, the brewers said.

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