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Japan Household Spending Down 4.8 Pct in Dec.

Japan Household Spending Down 4.8 Pct in Dec.

   Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)--Consumption spending by households in Japan in December fell 4.8 pct from a year earlier to 321,380 yen in price-adjusted real terms, down for the third consecutive month, the internal affairs ministry said Friday.
   The drop reflected reduced spending on heating equipment and seasonal clothing due to a warm winter and a pullback in demand after a last-minute rise before the consumption tax hike to 10 pct from 8 pct in October.
   Spending fell in nine of the 10 categories except health care, according to the data covering households comprising two or more members. Housing-related expenditures, including on refurbishment and maintenance, plunged 17.4 pct.
   Spending on furniture and household items tumbled 13.3 pct reflecting sluggish demand for air conditioners and heaters because of the tax hike and the warm winter. Expenditures on clothing and footwear, including coats, were down 11.1 pct.
   With Dec. 23, the birthday of Emperor Emeritus Akihito, no longer a public holiday following his abdication at the end of April last year, spending dropped for such items as eating out and gasoline.

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