Winter bonuses hit record in Japan, led by manufacturers
Nikkei -- Dec 11
Winter bonuses at Japanese companies averaged an all-time high of 834,391 yen ($7,400) this year, according to a Nikkei survey released Monday, notching a sixth straight year of growth on strong corporate earnings.

The average across all industries was the highest since the survey began in 1975, topping the $7,300 tally from 2007 just before the financial crisis. This year's 3.28% growth surpassed a 2.18% increase last year to top the 3% mark for the first time in three years.

The strong 2018 bonuses reflect healthy earnings for the year ended in March since many companies set winter-bonus payouts during annual pay negotiations in spring. Net profit for Japan's listed businesses hit a second straight high in fiscal 2017.

The generous payouts are likely to help boost individual consumption. But with the U.S.-China trade war clouding the global economic outlook, next year may not see a repeat of such brisk growth.

The payout in the manufacturing sector climbed 3.38% to $7,750 in a second consecutive year of growth, jumping 16.24% among steelmakers and 5.97% for machinery manufacturers.

The growth at manufacturers outpaced that at nonmanufacturers for the first time in four years. In the three years through 2017, the nonmanufacturing sector aggressively sweetened bonus packages to retain employees amid a worsening labor shortage.

Buoyed by strong demand for memory chips, Tokyo Electron topped Japanese companies' winter-bonus ranking for a second-year in a row.

国家公務員に10日、冬のボーナスが支給されました。平均の支給額は約71万円です。 内閣人事局によりますと、管理職を除いた一般職の国家公務員の冬のボーナスは平均で71万円と去年の冬より約4400円、減りました。職員の平均年齢の低下などが影響しています。
News sources: Nikkei, ANNnewsCH
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