Japan’s household expenditures drop 0.6pc in October

TOKYO (XINHUA) – Japan’s household expenditures dropped a real year-on-year 0.6 per cent in October, down for the third straight month, due to a plunge in purchases of furniture and other household goods, government data revealed yesterday.

The average consumption of households with at least two people, regarded as a key indicator of private consumption which accounts for more than half of Japan’s gross domestic product, stood at JPY281,996 (USD2,500), according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

However, the speed of decrease on year slowed down from a month earlier as spending on dining out and travelling began to rebound after the COVID-19 state of emergency was completely lifted on October 1, a government official said.

People were requested to refrain from going outside while restaurants and bars were asked to close earlier and not to serve alcohol during the state of emergency.

By component, outlays for household amenities and furniture declined 16.7 per cent from the previous year, as the government had handed out JPY100,000 (USD881) per person in cash last year, which lifted purchases of such items.

Expenditures on culture and recreation fell 5.4 per cent, including domestic package tours and accommodation, as the ‘Go To Travel’ subsidy programme by the government last year had promoted the travel demand.

People walk in a shopping arcade in Fukuoka. PHOTO: KYODO