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January sales of home electrical appliances at big retailers fell 2.16 percent year-on-year to 197.7 billion yen, the fifth drop in a row, the Nippon Electric Big-Stores Association said Tuesday.

Sales of television sets fell 2.39 percent from a year earlier, marking the first drop since March 2002. The fall was partly in reaction to large demand related to the previous year’s Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and front-loaded demand in December, the association said.

But sales of television sets are expected to exceed year-earlier levels in February and beyond because plasma-display and liquid-crystal display sets continue to sell well.

Sales of DVD recorders jumped 79.75 percent, rising for the 46th consecutive month, and sales of digital cameras climbed 30.81 percent from the same month last year.

It was the first time sales of digital cameras were included in the data.

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