Tokyo: Real wages in Japan declined for an 11th straight month in February, the government said in a report on Friday.
According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, wages fell 2.6 per cent from a year earlier on an inflation-adjusted basis, with workers earning an average of 271,851 yen ($2,064), including overtime, up 1.1 per cent in yen terms from the same period in 2022, reports Xinhua news agency.
The preliminary report showed that despite the decline in the recording period being less than the 4.1 per cent drop logged in January, workers’ earnings here remain under pressure.
Japanese companies are continuing to grapple with the effects, directly or indirectly, of steep import costs and a weak yen, which has further pushed up inflation and hence consumer costs, which are hurting both households and businesses.
The weak wage data from the ministry also shows that the Japanese government’s efforts to encourage companies to increase wages, along with a significant number of major companies agreeing to do so as a result of this year’s wage negotiations, have yet to be reflected in wage packets.
Separate government data showed Friday, meanwhile, that household spending in February rose 1.6 per cent from a year earlier, marking the first increase in four months.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, households of two or more people spent an average of 272,214 yen, with the amount coming in less than median economists’ forecasts.
Accounting for more than half of Japan’s gross domestic product, household spending is a key gauge of private consumption.