TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's household spending increased for the eighth consecutive month in July, but at a slower pace due to bad summer weather, government data showed Friday.
Spending by households with two or more people edged up 0.8 percent in real terms from a year earlier to 288,026 yen ($2,700) in the reporting month, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
A ministry official said household spending remains solid despite the bad weather in the reporting month, including a prolonged rainy season and lower than usual temperatures. The ministry maintained its assessment, saying spending is "picking up."
Healthcare expenditure was one of the biggest contributors to the overall rise as there were more hospital operating days than usual. Remedies for headaches sold well because of the bad weather, according to the official.
Outlays for transportation remained solid reflecting solid travel demand for the summer.
Meanwhile, sales of summer items, including clothing and air conditioners, were poor because of the cool temperatures.
As for the planned consumption tax hike to 10 percent from 8 percent on Oct. 1, the official said there was no clear sign of a rush to buy ahead of the tax hike.
Household spending is a key indicator of private consumption, which accounts for more than half of gross domestic product in the world's third-largest economy.
After adjusting for inflation, the average monthly income of salaried households with at least two people was up 1.1 percent from a year earlier to 626,488 yen.