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Japanese household spending falls 2.7%

Kyodo

Monthly household spending in 2015 fell 2.7 percent in price-adjusted real terms to ¥247,126, the government said Tuesday. It was the second straight year of decline.

The fall is attributed partly to weak sales for clothing in an unusually warm winter, according to an official of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. It compares with a 3.2 percent drop in 2014.

The drops contrast with a surge in demand in the January to March period of 2014 as buyers rushed to beat the consumption tax hike in April of that year. In 2015, spending decreased 0.5 percent on food and 6.4 percent on clothing and footwear. Expenditure on furniture and other household items dropped 4.6 percent.

Household spending figures are key indicators of private spending, which accounts for around 60 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.