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Japan's household spending drops 3.3 pct in Dec.
[January 27, 2011]

Japan's household spending drops 3.3 pct in Dec.

TOKYO, Jan 27, 2011 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Average household spending in Japan fell 3.3 percent in December last year from a year earlier, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.

In price-adjusted real terms, average spending stood at 327,006 yen (3,945 U.S. dollars) in December, which was sharply below analysts' expectations for a decline of 0.6 percent on year following the 0.4 percent annual drop in November, said the ministry.

December's figure marked the third straight month of annual declines, it said.

Spending by wage earner households fell 2.8 percent year-on- year in December to 349,495 yen (4,217 U.S. dollars), with the average monthly income per household dipping 1.4 percent to 895, 511 yen (10,807 U.S. dollars).

The ministry also reported that spending on clothing plunged 11. 3 percent on year, due to an unseasonably warm winter and buying of communications equipment dropped 11.0 percent.

Meanwhile, spending on leisure and recreation retreated 3.0 percent.

Bucking the downward trend, however, the official figures revealed that spending on housing surged 10.8 percent on year and furniture purchases leapt 5.3 percent.

Household spending accounts for 60 percent of Japan's gross domestic product (GDP) and is a key indicator of private consumption and a valuable gauge of the public's economic environment and sentiment.

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