Japan's household spending dropped for the third consecutive month in December following a consumption tax hike, the government said in a report on Friday.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, spending by households with two or more people fell 4.8 percent in real terms from a year earlier to 321,380 yen (2,900 U.S. dollars).
Household spending is a key indicator of private consumption and accounts for more than half of Japan's gross domestic product.
According to the ministry, the mild winter had a negative impact on sales of many items, such as coats and air conditioners, while spending on dining out and entertainment also declined.
The Japanese government raised the consumption tax rate to 10 percent from 8 percent on Oct. 1 last year.