Spending by households of Japanese wage earners rose a real 0.4 percent in June from a year earlier, marking the first rise since September, the government said Tuesday.
Average monthly spending by the households came to 312,081 yen, the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry said in a preliminary report.
Their average monthly income, including summer bonuses, was 726,426 yen, slipping 1.4 percent in real terms from a year earlier and down for 15th consecutive month.
Disposable income was down a real 4.4 percent to 600,185 yen.
Personal spending accounts for about 60 percent of Japan’s gross domestic product. Wage-earning households’ outlays make up 60 percent of total household spending.
“The increased spending in June may be a reflection of improved consumer sentiment, due to such reasons as a rise in stock prices,” said Masato Aida, head of the ministry’s consumer statistics division.
“But spending could decline in July due to low temperatures,” Aida added.
Increased spending in categories such as health and medical care, transportation and telecommunications, and education and entertainment led to the overall rise, the ministry said.
Health and medical care spending increased a real 15 percent to 11,866 yen, with spending on supplements such as chlorella and lecithin contributing to the rise, Aida said.
Transportation and telecommunications spending rose a real 10.5 percent to 44,653 yen, with spending on car purchases increasing a real 19.1 percent and that on telecommunications up a real 25.4 percent.
Spending on education and entertainment increased a real 4.1 percent to 29,743 yen, the ministry said. Spending on education and entertainment durable goods such as TVs rose a real 17.1 percent, it said.
But package tours, included in the education and entertainment category, slipped a nominal 0.4 percent. Overseas package tours plummeted a nominal 43.3 percent, while domestic package tours rose a nominal 15.2 percent, Aida said.
The severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic “still seems to be having an effect” on overseas package tours, he said, “but the overseas portion seems to be shifting toward domestic tours.”
Spending decreased in the clothing and footwear category, falling a real 11.1 percent to 15,058 yen.
Spending on food, including alcoholic beverages and fruit, fell a real 3 percent to 69,921 yen, with spending on dining out dropping a real 3.3 percent to 12,923 yen.