Japan's household spending posts first fall in 6 months

Rising prices in Japan are starting to have an impact on household spending. Outlays fell in November from a year earlier, the first drop in six months.

A survey by the internal affairs ministry shows households of two or more people spent 1.2 percent less than a year earlier in real terms. The average was 285,947 yen, or about 2,170 dollars.

Spending on food dropped 2.9 percent. This came after consumers stocked up on alcoholic drinks and food items ahead of price increases in October. Purchases of clothing and footwear plunged 9.3 percent. Sales of winter coats were especially slow due to the warm weather.

Furniture and other household items, including bedding and air conditioners, were down by 5.2 percent.

Meanwhile, spending on culture and recreation rose by 7.4 percent, as the government's travel subsidies spurred demand for accommodations.