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Household spending slumped unexpectedly in April and consumer inflation came in roughly flat, casting doubt on the central bank’s view that a steady economic recovery will help move inflation toward its ambitious 2 percent target.

Households spent less on leisure and dining out even as the jobless rate fell to a 18-year low, underscoring the challenge of eradicating the sticky “deflationary mindset” that has beset Japan for nearly two decades.

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