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MNI (London)
--Japan Dec Household Spending +0.1% Y/Y; MNI Median +1.0% 
--Japan Dec Household Spending Posts 1st Y/Y Rise in 4 Months
--Japan Govt Keeps View: Spending Picking Up But Marking Time
     TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's real average household spending rose 0.1% on year in
December for the first year-on-year rise in four months. The gain came in the
wake of higher spending on housing repair, household durable goods and spending
linked to automobiles and followed a dip of 0.5% (revised from -0.6%) in
November, data released Friday by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and
Communications showed.
     The key points from the monthly Family Income and Expenditure Survey on
Households.
     --Real average spending by households with two or more people posted the
first year-on-year rise in four month in December, up 0.1% after adjustment for
the difference caused by using two different survey methods. December data was
weaker than the MNI median economist forecast, which looked for a 1.0% rise.
     --The ministry left its assessment on household spending unchanged for the
first time in five months, saying household spending "is picking up but marking
time."
     --Lower spending on utilities and medical care was offset by higher
spending on housing repair, durable goods and spending linked to automobiles.
     --On the month, real average household spending fell 0.1% in December, the
first m/m drop in three months following +0.2% in November. The average real
income of households with salaried workers rose 2.3% on year, marking the second
straight rise.
     --The government data wasn't consistent with the Bank of Japan's
supply-side Consumption Activity Index released Thursday. The index posted the
first month-on-month rise in two months in December, up a real 0.5% on a
seasonally adjusted basis following -0.3% (revised from -0.6%) in November and
+1.4% in October.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email: hiroshi.inoue@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MAJDS$,MAUDR$,MAUDS$,M$A$$$,M$J$$$,M$U$$$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com