Average household spending dropped an inflation-adjusted 3.8 percent in June from a year earlier to 284,471 yen, marking the third consecutive month of decline, the government said in a report Tuesday.

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

Food expenditures — the biggest spending category — fell 2.1 percent as spending on dining out and foodstuffs such as vegetables, liquor and meat declined, said the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry.

Housing spending dropped 8.2 percent on decreases in rent and leasing charges as well as household maintenance fees.

Utilities spending declined 2 percent, while medical and health-care spending rose 4.2 percent led by increased spending on medications.

As earlier reported, average spending by wage-earners’ households in the same month fell 3.3 percent in real terms to 304,318 yen, a decline for the third straight month.

Spending by other households, such as people who are self-employed, dropped a real 3.9 percent to 256,801 yen from a year earlier.

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