Holiday credit card spending in Japan back to pre-pandemic levels

New data show consumers in Japan spent more lavishly with their credit cards during this year's spring holidays than they did before the coronavirus pandemic.

The finding comes from the consumption index compiled by credit card company JCB and data analysis firm Nowcast. It rose by 6.4 percent for the first half of May from the three-year average for the same period up to 2018.

There were no restrictions on social outings or travel during the holidays for the first time in three years.

Spending at convenience and liquor stores surged 43.7 percent.

People still spent less on dining-out and travel compared to pre-pandemic levels, but the gap narrowed.

Some sectors still faced a tough business environment, however. Spending tumbled 74.4 percent at karaoke parlors and declined 45.6 percent at Japanese-style pubs.

JCB and Nowcast say consumption is likely to fully recover, but the pandemic may have changed the way people spend their time and money.