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Average household spending in Japan inched up a real 0.1 percent in February from a year before to 291,367 yen after a 0.5 percent fall in January, the government said in a preliminary report released Thursday.

Average household spending is a key gauge of personal consumption, which accounts for 60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Expenditures continued to grow in the reporting month for furniture, which rose 10.8 percent, and transportation and communications, up 18.7 percent, said the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications.

In contrast, food spending fell 4.9 percent, while clothes and footwear spending slid 7.8 percent.

As reported earlier, spending by salaried workers’ households, which account for 60 percent of overall household spending, rose 0.9 percent to an average 314,197 yen for the third straight month of increase.

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