Japan April household spending falls 4.6% over year ago

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese household spending fell more than expected in April, data showed on Friday, in a sign that a decline in consumer spending after a sales tax hike is worse than feared.

The 4.6 per cent annual decrease exceeded the median market forecast for a 3.2 per cent annual decline.

Spending declined 13.3 per cent in April from the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms as households spent an average 302,141 yen (S$3,734), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.

The government raised the national sales tax to 8 per cent from 5 per cent on April 1 to pay for rising welfare costs.