STOCKHOLM - Arms sales by the 100 biggest weapons makers fell for the first time since the mid-90s in 2011 as economies slowed and military equipment purchases were reduced for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, a leading think-tank said on Monday.
Sales totalled $410 billion, a 5-percent fall adjusted for currency swings, from $411 billion in 2010, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which carries out independent research on international security, armaments and disarmament said in a statement.
SIPRI, which has been compiling the list since 1989, does not include Chinese-based firms due to lack of available data.
"Austerity policies and proposed and actual decreases in military expenditure as well as postponements in weapons program procurement affected overall arms sales in North America and Western Europe," it said in a statement.
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