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Japanese household spending drops more than expected in October

Japanese household expenditure dropped in October, when the consumption tax was raised to 10% from 8%, data from the Statistics Bureau showed.

Household spending fell 5.1% in annual real terms and after discontinuity adjustments to ¥279,671, following a 9.5% rise in the previous month. The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for a 3.0% decrease.

Spending on housing decreased 12.7% in real terms to ¥17,370, while expenditure on food fell 3.9% to ¥77,542. Furniture and household utensils spending fell 16.3% to ¥9,515, while expenditure on education dropped 15.9%.

In nominal terms, household spending declined by 4.8%. On a monthly basis, spending plummeted 11.4% in October, after rising 5.5% in September.

Separately, real wages inched up 0.1% in October, following a 0.2% rise in September, data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare showed.

Total cash earnings rose 0.5% to ¥273,466 in October after a similar revised growth a month ago.

As of Dec. 5, US$1 was equivalent to ¥108.72.