TOKYO (dpa) – Household income in Japan declined year-on-year for 14 months in a row, the government said Friday, despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to stimulate the economy.
The average income for workers’ households fell 3.9 per cent from a year earlier to 431,543 yen (3,596 dollars) in November, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.
Household spending also dropped 2.5 per cent to 280,271 yen for the eighth consecutive month of fall, the ministry said, after a controversial sales-tax increase in April.
The government raised the nation’s sales tax to 8 per cent on April 1 from five per cent, the first hike in 17 years, despite strong public opposition.
Abe postponed the second hike planned next year and dissolved the lower house for snap elections, after government figures showed the world’s third-largest economy unexpectedly slipped into recession in the third quarter.
Abe was sworn in as premier on Wednesday for a third time after his conservative Liberal Democratic Party won convincingly despite the stagnating economy.
The ministry also reported Friday consumer prices climbed at a slower rate of 2.7 per cent in November from a year earlier, compared with a 2.9-per-cent increase in October.
Discounting the tax hike, inflation was 0.7 per cent, the Bank of Japan said, down from 0.9 per cent in October, and the fourth consecutive month of slowing.
The shift takes inflation further from the central bank’s target of two per cent in or around the financial year starting April 2015, as Japan battles longstanding deflationary pressures.
The core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food, stood at 103.4 against a base of 100 for 2010, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.