Japan’s households boosted spending for the first time in 14 months in a sign that private consumption may finally stop exerting a drag on growth as central bank officials prepare to discuss policy next week.

Real outlays rose 0.5% in April from a year ago, marking the first increase since February last year, the internal affairs ministry reported Friday. The reading matched economists’ estimates. Spending fell 1.2% from a month earlier.

Categories that saw increases in spending included education, rent and clothing, while outlays on cars and food declined.