September 28, 2018 / 6:07 AM / 8 months ago

Japan's household spending seen slipping in August after natural disasters: Reuters poll

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds shopping bags as she stands in front of a railway station in Tokyo, Japan December 26, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s household spending was expected to fall slightly in August as natural disasters took a heavy toll, although the tight labor market and wage growth probably supported consumption, a Reuters poll found on Friday.

Household spending was expected to have edged down 0.1 percent in August from a year earlier, the poll of 16 economists found, after it grew 0.1 percent in July.

“Summer heat helped sales of seasonal items but a series of natural disasters dented consumer spending,” said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.

“An adverse impact from typhoons and quakes may continue to appear in the September data. But the jobs market is tight and wages are rising, so the trend of recovering consumer spending is expected to continue.”

The government plans to compile an extra budget for disaster relief after Japan was hit by deadly typhoons, flooding, record heat waves and earthquakes.

The household spending data measures changes in what a household of two or more people spends on items such as food, housing, electricity, clothes, transport and education.

Latest data showed retail sales, which track the performance of department stores, supermarkets and convenience stores, rose 2.7 percent in August from a year earlier. That compared with a median market forecast for a 2.1 percent increase.

The government will issue the household spending data at 8:30 a.m. on Friday Oct. 5 Japan time (2330 GMT on Oct. 4).

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Eric Meijer

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