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Demand for services rose for the first time in three months in July, led by retail sales. The tertiary index, a gauge of money that households and businesses spend on phone calls, power and transportation, rose 1.2 percent from June, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Thursday.

The gain in service demand, which makes up 60 percent of the economy, was driven by hot weather, according to Katsuya Shimura, a METI spokesman.

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