Ja­pan house­hold spend­ing falls again

The Myanmar Times - - Business -

SPEND­ING among Ja­panese house­holds fell for an eighth suc­ces­sive month in Oc­to­ber, de­spite the un­em­ploy­ment rate sit­ting at a 21-year low, of­fi­cial gov­ern­ment data showed yes­ter­day.

Ja­pan needs stronger con­sumer spend­ing if Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe’s plans – now nearly four years old – to re­vi­talise the world’s third­largest econ­omy are to suc­ceed.

Last week, the in­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry core con­sumer prices, which ex­clude volatile fresh food costs, fell again in Oc­to­ber to ex­tend the long­est run of de­clines for more than five years.

The min­istry said that house­hold spend­ing last month dropped 0.4 per­cent from a year ear­lier.

It was, how­ever, a smaller de­cline than the 2.1pc drop in Septem­ber, partly be­cause of higher veg­etable prices.

“House­hold spend­ing has been flat in the past year be­cause dis­pos­able in­come has not in­creased,” said Yoshiki Shinke, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Re­search In­sti­tute.

“Even though salaries are ris­ing, the pace of their in­crease is not so big com­pared with the gain in so­cial in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums, and peo­ple have seen no prospects that their salaries will rise in a sus­tain­able way,” he told AFP.

Jobs data stayed pos­i­tive, with the un­em­ploy­ment rate re­main­ing at 3pc, un­changed from Septem­ber and the low­est since 1995.

The labour min­istry sep­a­rately said the ra­tio of job of­fers to job seek­ers came in at more than 25year high of 1.40 in Oc­to­ber, mean­ing there were 140 of­fers for ev­ery 100 job hunters.

Ja­pan’s cen­tral bank this month pushed back the time­line for hit­ting its 2pc in­fla­tion tar­get to March 2019 – four years later than its orig­i­nal tar­get and the lat­est in a string of de­lays. –

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