• Kyodo

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Electricity sales for the nation’s 10 utilities declined in October for the first time in three months, apparently due to growing public awareness of the need for conservation and sluggish industrial production amid the economic slump.

Total sales for the month came to 65.94 billion kwh, down 1.4 percent from a year earlier, the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said Friday.

Sales to large-lot, industrial users dropped 3.3 percent to 22.49 billion kwh, a fall for the fifth month in a row, with those to the paper and pulp industry marking a significant 10.4 percent drop.

Sales to households decreased 3.3 percent to 19.17 billion kwh.

Eight of the utilities saw power demand slacken, but both Tohoku Electric Power Co. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. posted a 3.1 percent rise in demand.

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