Spending by wage-earners’ households in August fell a preliminary 0.3 percent in real terms from the previous year for the first dip in three months, the government said Friday.

Average monthly spending by wage-earners’ households came to 322,760 yen, the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry said in a preliminary report.

The decline followed a 1.3 percent rise in July and a 3.4 percent rise in June.

The average monthly income of such households fell 0.2 percent in real terms from a year earlier to 486,063 yen, down for the fifth month in a row, the ministry said.

But disposable income edged down by a real 0.7 percent to 408,800 yen, it said.

Outlays by wage-earners’ households make up 60 percent of all personal spending, which in turn accounts for some 60 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Although spending in August declined, “year-on-year moves in household spending seem to be almost flat,” said Masato Aida, director of the ministry’s consumer statistics division.

Spending on health and medical care fell 4.5 percent from a year earlier, affected by a 9.6 percent decline in medical services, including hospital admissions.

Spending on transport and telecommunications fell 5.1 percent.

But spending on food rose 3.4 percent for the first spurt in two months, due to increased spending on alcohol, snacks and dining out.

Spending on education expanded 23.2 percent, due to more outlays for cram schools and climbing tuition fees.

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