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Japanese household spending falls 3.9% YOY in May but real wages gain

Based on discontinuity-adjusted figures, the average monthly spending per household in Japan in May was down 3.9% in real terms from the previous year, data from Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed.

Consumer spending accounts for more than half of Japan's gross domestic product. The decline in May suggests reaching the Bank of Japan's 2% inflation target has become a distant goal, said Reuters July 5.

The top three items with the highest increase in spending in real terms were education, which increased 20.3%; housing, 5.8%; and medical care, 1.7%.

Items with the largest fall in spending in May were furniture and household utensils, which fell 7.6%; clothing and footwear, 8%; and other consumption expenditures, down 10.4%.

The average monthly income per household based on discontinuity-adjusted figures was down 0.3% in real terms from the prior year.

Meanwhile, Japanese workers' real wages in May marked the highest year over year rise in 2018, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare data showed.

Real wages, adjusted for inflation, rose an annual 1.3% in May following a revised 0.2% annual drop in April. May's wage rise is the biggest annual gain since July 2016, reported Reuters, citing labor ministry data.

As of July 5, US$1 was equivalent to 110.60 Japanese yen.