Japan consumer spending rises in April for first time in 14 months

By Thomson Reuters Jun 6, 2024 | 6:45 PM

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese household spending rose for the first time in 14 months in April from the year earlier, data showed on Friday, although the tepid growth showed consumers remained reluctant to loosen their purse-strings in the face of higher prices.

Consumer spending rose 0.5% in April from a year earlier, data from the internal affairs ministry showed. That was slightly below the median market forecast for a 0.6% uptick.

On a seasonally adjusted, month-on-month basis, spending fell 1.2%, versus an estimated 0.2% rise.

Sluggish private consumption is a source of concern for policymakers striving to achieve sustained economic growth underpinned by solid wages and durable inflation, which are prerequisites for normalising monetary policy.

Separate data released on Wednesday showed Japan’s regular pay in April rose at the fastest pace in nearly three decades but that inflation-adjusted wages remained weak, extending a record streak of 25 consecutive months of decline.

(Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)