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Japan’s retail sales grew 3.1 percent in June on a year-on-year basis to 10.54 trillion yen, marking a fourth straight monthly rise, the government said Thursday.

The increase was attributed in part to fuel price hikes and to robust sales of new compact cars and men’s clothing, with the latter aided by the “Cool Biz” casual office dress campaign.

The four-month streak is the longest period of unbroken retail sales growth since a seven-month expansion that ran from September 1996 to March 1997, a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry official said. It underscores the fact that retail sales have been “modestly recovering,” he added.

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