Japan's jobless rate unexpectedly fell to a nine-year low in April and consumer spending increased for a fourth month, suggesting the economy is resilient enough to withstand higher interest rates.
The unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent from 4 percent, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo. The median estimate of 34 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for the number to stay unchanged for a fifth month. Household spending rose 1.1 percent, the bureau said, exceeding the 0.2 percent expectation.
Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Hiroko Ota said more demand for workers should drive wages higher, spurring consumer spending. The yen rose and bonds fell on speculation wage growth will help fuel inflation, enabling the Bank of Japan to raise its key interest rate, the lowest among major economies.