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Japan retailers see tougher year as shoppers tighten purse strings

Seven & i enjoyed strong sales of house-brand items.

TOKYO -- Japanese retailers' earnings growth is likely to slow in fiscal 2016 as shoppers become more frugal due to sluggish wage growth and other signs of bearishness in the economy.

     Aggregate sales rose 7% for the year ended in February for 74 listed retailers that had announced results as of Wednesday, while their pretax profit climbed 10%. Sales and pretax profit are forecast to increase this fiscal year but by just 2% and 7%.

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