Japan's household spending has finally risen after a protracted period of decline, official figures have shown. The news came amid government attempts to put stubborn deflation behind it and stoke economic growth.
Japan's average household spending climbed by 2.3 percent year on year in June for the first time in 16 months, a government report showed Friday.
The upturn was good news for beleaguered Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who had been trying to ignite growth in the world's third-largest economy for more than four years - with mixed results.
Consumer spending had long remained a concern amid the Bank of Japan's efforts to lift inflation with the help of aggressive monetary easing.
The government report also showed that inflation-adjusted wages edged up by 0.6 percent from a year earlier, marking the first increase in four months.
Approaching full employment
Japan's economic prospects have recently improved on the back of solid exports, with investments linked to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics also giving many sectors a shot in the arm.
Also on Friday, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said the unemployment rate in Japan dropped to 2.8 percent in June, down from 3.1 percent in the previous month.
The ratio of job offers to job seekers remained at a four-decade high.
The number of people employed nationwide stood at 65.83 million, an increase of 610,000 from the same month a year earlier.
hg/rd (AFP, dpa)