Wage growth for Japanese workers was slower than expected in August, reinforcing the Bank of Japan’s need to wait for further signs of strength in the labor market before moving toward normalizing policy.

Nominal cash earnings for workers rose 1.1% from the previous year, matching the revised figure from the previous month, the labor ministry said Friday. The reading missed economists’ estimate of a 1.5% gain.

Separate data showed that household spending fell from year-earlier levels for a sixth straight month, another indication that falling real wages are impacting consumer appetite. Still, there were signs that the deterioration in spending may be turning a corner as the decline was the smallest since March.