Rise in household spending is first increase in six months

Japanese households spent more in February compared to the corresponding month last year — the first year-on-year increase in six months — the Management and Coordination Agency said Tuesday.

Households spent an average 291,470 yen, up an inflation-adjusted 4.2 percent from a year earlier and marking a rise of 2.3 percent from January, the agency said.

Of the 7,838 households surveyed, spending by 4,725 families of salaried workers grew by a real 3.8 percent to an average of 311,775 yen, as reported Friday on a preliminary basis, while the average for other households rose 5.4 percent to 259,456 yen.

In releasing the preliminary report, an agency official said the extra day in February due to the leap year buoyed spending in that month by about 3 percent from a year earlier.

Outlays increased in eight of the 10 spending categories listed, in particular housing, which rose 18.5 percent, and transportation and telecommunications, up 17.5 percent.

Spending for food fell 0.2 percent and that for clothing slipped 1.1 percent.