Japan wages rise after labour talks but weak consumption drags on economy

TOKYO, Jun 06 (CNA) - Japan's wages rose in April as major companies lifted pay at the fastest pace in three decades on workers' increased demands for salaries to keep up with inflation, but households' spending remained weak and underlined a patchy economic recovery.

The April wage data provides an early glimpse of the effects of the spring labour negotiations, or "shunto", and comes as Bank of Japan governor Kazuo Ueda has said an end to easy policy would depend on the economy achieving sustainable 2 per cent inflation along with wage hikes.

"While we must wait until May to see the full picture of the shunto results, April’s growth wasn’t as strong as expected,” said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.

Total cash earnings, or nominal wages, grew 1.0 per cent in April from a year earlier, the labour ministry data showed. The growth was smaller than a revised 1.3 per cent rise logged in March. ...continue reading

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