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Household spending up 4.0% in May

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese household spending in May rose 4.0 percent from a year before in price-adjusted real terms, up for the sixth consecutive month, the internal affairs ministry said Friday.

The rise was the largest since 4.8 percent marked in May 2015.

The increase reflected a surge in spending related to travel and leisure on the back of Japan’s unprecedented 10-day Golden Week holiday period from late April to early May, as well as a rebound from a 3.8 percent fall in May last year.

Consumption expenditures by households with two or more members averaged ¥300,901.

The ministry revised up its basic assessment of household spending for the first time in four months, saying it is picking up, as it believes that consumer spending is continuing to increase. Last month, the ministry said that household spending was showing signs of recovering.

By item, expenditures for accommodation, transportation and eating out increased.

Spending on air conditioners, drinks and ice cream also expanded due to the record-breaking heat in the second half of May.

Consumption expenditures were also affected as people’s payments of insurance premiums for April were pushed back to May as the long holiday period started in late April.

The ministry also said that average income at wage-earning households fell for the first time in seven months, decreasing a real 0.2 percent to ¥457,376.

The decline stemmed in part from a drop in the working hours of nonregular employees due to an increase in the number of holidays.Speech

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