Japan's May household spending unexpectedly falls

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese household spending unexpectedly fell 1.6 per cent last month from a year earlier in price-adjusted real terms, down for the first time in five months, government data showed on Friday, in a sign that the pace of gains in spending may be slowing.

The year-on-year fall compared with the median market forecast for a 1.4 per cent gain and followed a 1.5 per cent increase in April, data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed.

Spending grew 0.1 per cent from April in seasonally adjusted terms as households spent an average 282,366 yen ($2,900). Expenditures by wage earner households rose 1.4 per cent in May from the same month a year earlier.