Japan retail sales raise most since 2014, but outlook murky.

 
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Japanese retail sales grew at the strongest pace in 5-1/2 years in September as consumers rushed to buy big-ticket items to beat a rise in the country's sales tax, raising concerns spending could pull back sharply in the coming months.

The increase in national sales tax to 10percent from 8percent on Oct. 1 is seen as crucial for fixing the industrial world's heaviest public debt at more than twice the size of Japan's economy.

But some analysts worry the twice-delayed tax hike could tip the world's third-largest economy into recession, underscoring...

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