|Year over Year||-11.7%||-10.6%||-2.9%|
Household spending declined for a twelfth straight month in March. On the year, spending was down 10.6 percent after sliding 2.9 percent in January. Consumption has been weak since last April when Japan raised its consumption tax by 3 percentage points to 8 percent. Spending in the most of the subcategories declined. The biggest drops were in furniture & household utensils (down 39.6 percent) and transportation (down 16.1 percent). Only education advanced, this time by 3.1 percent on the year.
Household spending is an important gauge of personal consumption, which accounts for roughly 55 percent of Japan's gross domestic product.
The report looks at spending of households and gives a picture of consumer spending. Increases in household spending are favorable for the Japanese economy because high consumer spending generally leads to higher levels of economic growth. Higher spending is also a sign of consumer optimism, as households confident in their future outlook will spend more. The preferred number is the change from the previous year. The data are part of the family income and expenditure survey which is released at the same time as the employment and unemployment data.
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