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Japan Sep Wages Post Modest Gain; Real Wages Continue To Dip

--Japan Sep Avg Wages +0.9% Y/Y, 2nd Straight Rise
--Japan Sep Real Avg Wages -0.1% Y/Y, 4th Straight Drop
--Japan Sep Base Wages +0.7% Y/Y, 6th Straight Rise
--Japan Sep Overtime Pay +0.9% Y/Y, 3rd Straight Rise
--Japan Sep Special Pay +11.6% Y/Y, 2nd Straight Rise
--Japan June-Aug Bonuses +0.4% Y/Y, Slowing From +2.3% Last Year
--Japan Official: Overall Trend of Moderate Wage Rise Unchanged 
     TOKYO (MNI) - Preliminary average wage data from the Monthly Labour Survey
released by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on Tuesday.
     * Total monthly average cash earnings per regular employee in Japan rose
0.9% on year to Y267,427 in September, posting the second straight year-on-year
rise after +0.7% in August, but continued to mark a slight drop from a year
before after adjusted for inflation.
     * "The overall trend is unchanged that wages are showing a moderate
increase," a ministry official said. "Inflation is keeping real wages weak."
     * In real terms, average wages slipped 0.1% on year, the fourth consecutive
decline after sliding at the same pace in the previous three months. Real wages
last posted a year-on-year rise (+0.1%) in December 2016. The weak trend was
caused by the recent rise in the cost of living, with the total CPI minus
imputed rents up 0.9% on year in September.
     * On the upside, base wages, the key to a recovery in cash earnings, rose
0.7% in September from a year earlier, the sixth straight year-on-year rise
after +0.2% in August. Hourly base wages of regular employees working part time
gained 2.3% on year after +2.1% in the previous month while base wages for
full-time workers rose a modest 0.2% on year after moving in a range of zero to
+0.7% in the past 12 months.
     * Overtime pay rose 0.9% on year in September for the third straight
year-on-year increase after rising 1.3% in August. Overtime working hours rose
0.6% on year for the ninth straight rise after +0.6% in August while regular
working hours dipped 0.1% on year, the third straight year-on-year drop after
falling 0.9% in the previous month.
     * Bonuses and other special pay rose 11.6% from a year before in September,
the second straight year-on-year rise after 5.7% in August.
     * Summer bonuses, which were paid between June and August, managed to post
a slight gain of 0.4% on year but the pace of increase was much slower than
+2.3% seen a year before, as expected.
     * Japanese policymakers have been urging firms to share more profits with
workers but firms remain cautious about raising base wages amid uncertainty over
the outlook for global and domestic demand.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-4670-5309; email: max.sato@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MAJDS$,M$A$$$,M$J$$$,MT$$$$]

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