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    Japan’s nominal pay rises 1.5% yoy, but fail to keep pace with inflation, consumer spending drops

    Japan’s nominal pay growth rose by 1.5% yoy, surpassing the expected 1.0% yoy increase. This marked the fastest rate of increase since June. Regular or base salaries contributed to this increase with a 1.4% yoy rise. However, overtime pay slightly decreased by -0.1% yoy. Special payments, a variable component of wages, saw a significant jump of 7.5% yoy.

    However, the positive trend in nominal pay was offset by the continued decline in inflation-adjusted real wages, which fell for the 19th consecutive month, dropping by -2.3% yoy. A labor ministry official commented, “Price increases have outpaced wage growth.” This situation is exacerbated by the consumer inflation rate, which includes fresh food prices but excludes owner’s equivalent rent, re-accelerating to 3.9% after a brief two-month slowdown.

    Alongside wage trends, household spending in Japan also experienced a downturn, decreasing by -2.5% yoy in October. This decline, while still significant, was less severe than the anticipated 3.0% yoy drop. The continued decrease in household spending, which has now extended to eight consecutive months, reflects ongoing challenges in the domestic consumption sector.



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