UPDATE 1-Japan household spending slump eases in June as economy reopens
* June household spending -1.2% yr/yr vs f’cast -7.5%
* Fall is smaller than record plunge in May as lockdown lifted
* Analysts expect any consumption recovery to be moderate
By Leika Kihara
TOKYO, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Japan’s household spending fell at a much smaller annual pace in June than the previous month, data showed on Friday, a sign consumption is recovering from the damage caused by lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
But analysts expect any rebound in the world’s third-largest economy to be moderate as a recent resurgence in infections keeps households and companies from boosting spending.
Household spending in June declined 1.2% from a year earlier, government data showed, compared with a median market forecast for a 7.5% drop.
It followed a record 16.2% drop in May, when consumers were still heeding authorities’ calls to stay home to contain the pandemic. Those emergency steps were lifted in late May.
While the economy has gradually re-opened, rising infections nationwide have forced the government to request citizens hold off on unnecessary travel and work from home as much as possible.
The fallout from the pandemic has pushed Japan deeper into recession, hitting an economy already reeling from the damage to consumption and exports from last year’s tax hike and slumping overseas demand. (Reporting by Leika Kihara; editing by Jane Wardell)
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