Household spending tumbled a real 10.2% in September from a year earlier, due mainly to a last-minute surge in demand the previous year ahead of a consumption tax hike, government data showed Friday.

The monthly drop was the sharpest since the 16.2% plunge logged in May, the largest decrease since comparable data became available in January 2001. The fall was attributed to a nationwide state of emergency, then in effect over the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

In the September, spending by households with two or more people in real terms fell for the 12th straight month to ¥269,863 ($2,600). There was a 9.5% year-on-year increase in September 2019, the fastest pace on record, ahead of a consumption tax hike from 8% to 10% on Oct. 1 that year.