New data on credit card use for October shows spending in Japan rose above pre-pandemic levels for the first time in 11 months after a nationwide coronavirus state of emergency ended.
The consumption index, compiled by credit card company JCB and data analysis firm Nowcast, rose 4.1 percent compared to the October average for the three years through 2018.
Spending at the gas pump rose 7.7 percent compared to a month ago, marking a return to positive territory for the first time in 20 months as crude oil prices surged.
Expenditure on accommodation, leisure, travel and dining out also showed improvements.
Researchers expect consumption to recover steadily, although they are wary that it could be dented again by a possible resurgence in coronavirus infections.