Preliminary data released today by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry shows that Japan's retail sales fell for the fifth consecutive year in 2001. The Current Survey of Commerce figures reveal lower prices for clothes, food and beverages, as well as slumping sales of personal computers and other information technology-related goods, meant sales fell 2.2 per cent to 136.12 trillion yen (US$1.01 trillion) on the year in 2001.