Japan's Aso: Post-sales tax hike pullback milder than expected

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Wednesday that the downturn in consumption in reaction to last-minute buying ahead of a sales tax hike on April 1 was smaller than he had expected.

Aso told a parliamentary session that while personal consumption patterns were showing a pullback in high-priced items, the service sector remained firm, with no downturn seen after the sales tax was raised to 8 per cent from 5 per cent.