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Japan govt upgrades outlook for consumer spending

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Japan's government raised its assessment of consumer spending in March, the first upgrade in three months, as rising wages and improving sentiment led to a pick-up in consumption.

[TOKYO] Japan's government raised its assessment of consumer spending in March, the first upgrade in three months, as rising wages and improving sentiment led to a pick-up in consumption.

The government left unchanged its overall assessment that the economy is recovering gradually though pockets of weakness remain.

Only last month, the government downgraded its consumer spending assessment, so a positive shift in assessment could offer hope that shoppers will continue to spend and boost economic growth. "On the whole, consumer spending is continuing to recover,"the Cabinet Office said in its monthly economic report released on Thursday.

This marked an upgrade from last month, when the Cabinet Office said the recovery in consumer spending had stalled.

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Data has shown an increase in new car sales and a gradual increase in spending at restaurants and cafes, the report said.

The Cabinet Office, which helps coordinate economic policy, left unchanged its assessment that capital expenditure is showing signs of recovery and that exports are recovering.

The Cabinet Office also maintained its assessment that the housing sector is weakening, in part due to an oversupply of rental properties.

REUTERS

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