Japan’s retail sales fell for a third straight month in February amid the country’s biggest wave of virus infections, adding to concern that the economy’s recovery may have slipped back into reverse.

Sales fell 0.8% in February from the month before, as shoppers cut back spending on clothes and accessories, the economy ministry reported Wednesday. Analysts had expected a 0.3% decline. Compared with the previous year, sales were down for the first time since September, also falling 0.8%.

In a month when Japan saw new daily case numbers top 100,000 and restaurants and bars were asked to close early under quasi-emergency restrictions, consumers likely took on a more cautious stance. The last time sales fell in three straight months was at the height of the first wave of the pandemic in spring 2020.