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Japan consumer spending weak, but other data as expected

Japan consumer spending weak, but other data as expected


The first part of Japan's economic data festival on Friday showed July consumer spending down sharply and unemployment just a little higher, but inflation in line with forecasts. Spending by housholds of two or more people fell a sharper-than-expected 5.9% in July compared to a year earlier, accelerating its downtrend from a 3% drop in June, though still not as bad as May's 8% plunge, the Finance Ministry said. A Wall Street Journal survey of economists had tipped a 2.9% decline. The same data report showed average monthly income down 6.2% from a year earlier in price-adjusted terms. Meanwhile, the jobless rate rose to 3.8%, while the economists had forecast the rate to stay at June's 3.7% level. Inflation, however, was in line with expectations. July's nationwide core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh-food prices, was 3.3% higher, identical to June's result. For central Tokyo, the core CPI was up an annualized 2.7% so far this month, also matching forecasts and down a touch from July's 2.8% gain. The Japanese yen held steady after the data, with the dollar (USDYEN) at 103.68 yen. Industrial output and retail sales numbers were due out later in the morning.

-Michael Kitchen; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

08-28-14 1945ET

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