in the year to last January


USA English
Hi all

Here is a phrase from The Financial Times that I'm having trouble translating. Would appreciate any suggestions.

Japanese companies spent 13.3 percent less on entertaining and gifts in the year to last January than in the previous year.

It's a common expression used in accounting and finance.

Thanks for any help!
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    To clarify, as we did in a thread in the English Only forum, the year to last January
    means the year (fiscal or calendar) that ended on the most recent 31 December. A new fiscal or calendar year began last January.
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