Tokyo, March 24: Supermarket sales in Japan fell for the first time in eight months in February as food prices continue to soar, according to the latest industry data.

According to the Japan Chain Stores Association, sales at major stores across the country totaled about 1 trillion yen ($7 billion) last month, down 2 per cent in yen terms from the previous year, reports Xinhua news agency.

Food sales, accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the total, fell 1.7 per cent, the association said, while sales of clothing and cosmetics rose as people went out more as the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.

Officials at the association said that consumers are buying less per shopping trip as they are becoming more cost-conscious and thrifty amid rising food prices.

(IANS | Posted on 24 March 2023, 1695529567 44O192O254O173)