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Household spending in Japan increases for 1st time in four months in December
Last Updated: 2019-02-09 10:17 | Xinhua
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Household spending in Japan rose in December owing to increased outlays on electrical goods and as a result of an addition national holiday compared to data released the same time a year earlier, the government said in a report on Friday.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, spending by households occupied by two or more people rose for the first time in four months in the recording period to 329,271 yen (3,000 U.S. dollars).

The statistics bureau noted that spending on electrical appliances spanning washing machines and refrigerators increased in December, as did outlays on mobile phones, clothing and new cars. The bureau added that expenditure decreased, however, on food and utilities.

Average monthly spending by households with two or more members dropped 0.4 percent for the entire year in 2018 from the previous year to 287,315 yen (2,618 U.S. dollars), marking the fifth consecutive year of decline, the bureau also said.

Spending on food was down 1.5 percent, according to the data, and that on entertainment dropped 2.4 percent, while spending on clothes dipped 1.6 percent, the statistics showed.

On an inflation-adjusted basis and including winter bonuses paid in the recording month, the average income of salaried households with at least two people increased a real 2.3 percent to 1,026,628 yen (9,355 U.S. dollars), separate government data released Friday also showed.

Household spending in Japan is a key indicator for private consumption, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of Japan's gross domestic product.

Despite the uptick in December, however, local economists maintained that an increasingly tight labor market, a mounting demographic crisis and an impeding consumption tax hike to 10 percent in October would likely keep inflation distant from the Bank of Japan's 2 percent target.

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