Spending by salaried workers’ households fell 2.9 percent in August from a year earlier, the fourth straight month of decline, a preliminary report released Friday by the Management and Coordination Agency shows.

Spending in August averaged 332,633 yen per household, while real income stood at 504,141 yen, down 0.3 percent from a year earlier, the third straight month of decline.

The seasonally adjusted propensity to consume, the proportion of disposable income spent on consumption, fell to 69.7 percent in August from 71.3 percent in July, dropping below 70 percent for the first time in 11 months.

Spending dropped in all categories except culture and entertainment. Masato Okamoto, head of the agency’s Consumer Statistics Division, attributed the rise in these categories to strong sales of personal computers and TV sets.

Spending on food dropped by 2.1 percent for the 18th straight month of decline on a year-on-year basis.

Wage-earning households notably refrained from eating out and buying prepared food in this category, Okamoto said.

Spending on furniture and household equipment fell by 12.6 percent, the largest drop by category in the reporting month.

Sales of durable goods, especially air conditioners, dropped sharply, unlike in July, when air conditioner sales were brisk., Okamoto said.

Tokyo prices dip 1.4%

Consumer prices in Tokyo fell 1.4 percent in September from a year earlier, marking a record 13th straight monthly drop, mainly due to lower prices of fresh fruit and nonperishable goods, the Management and Coordination Agency said in a preliminary report released Friday.

The CPI for the capital stood at 100.6 against a base of 100 in 1995.

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