• Reuters

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Do not believe in official statistics, Japanese retailers seem to be saying, as they cut earnings forecasts and warn of lackluster consumer spending, a key growth engine for Japan at a time when exports and factory output are stalling.

If you go by the larger-than-expected 2.9 percent gain in household spending in August — the first year-on-year rise in three months — then consumption looks like it is finally alive and well again, after a sales tax hike last year stifled the economy.

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