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Friday, 26 October, 2001, 06:59 GMT 07:59 UK
Japan's consumer prices fall
bankrupt store in Yokohama
Japanese shops are still failing to attract buyers
Consumer prices on Japan's high streets fell in September, continuing a relentless two-year slide and prompting economics minister Heizo Takenaka to say the country needed a tougher approach to halting deflation.

"There's an argument that falling prices are good for consumers, but we have to acknowledge that it is clearly problematic for the macroeconomy," he said.

"We have to put a high priority - and set a target on - measures to stop price falls."

He called on the Bank of Japan to take action to halt the slide in prices.

Japan's core consumer price index dropped for the twenty-fourth month in a row in September.

The index fell 0.8% from its September 2000 level, official figures showed.

Meanwhile, retail sales fell for the sixth successive month, down 2.9% in September from a year earlier.

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 ON THIS STORY
Setsuko Watanabe, Japanese housewife
"The shops cannot raise the price because we cannot buy so they try to compete in discounting"
See also:

12 Oct 01 | Business
Japan airline tumbles into loss
10 Oct 01 | Business
Japan launches economy drive
01 Oct 01 | Business
Survey raises Japan recession fears
26 Sep 01 | Business
Japan's slowdown to hit Asia
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