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MNI BRIEF: Japan Dec Wages Rise; Real Pay Turns Positive

(MNI) Tokyo

Real wages turned positive for the first time in nine months in December but they are still below the rise in the consumer price index, sustaining concerns over slower consumer spending in the coming months, according to data released Tuesday by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Average wages rose 1.8% y/y in December after rising 1.5% in November, with total monthly average cash earnings per regular employee increasing 4.8% y/y in December compared to 1.9% y/y growth in November. (See MNI INTERVIEW: BOJ To Wait Until Aug To Gauge Wages - Momma)

Real - or inflation adjusted - average wages posted the first rise in nine months, rising 0.1% y/y in December, indicating that households continued to be weighed down by rising living costs caused by high energy and food prices. Total CPI minus imputed rents rose 4.8% y/y in December, accelerating from 4.5% in November.

Real wages in 2022 fell 0.9% y/y, for the first drop in two years following a rise of 0.6% in 2021. Separate data showed spending was weighed down by high living costs.

Real average household spending in December fell 1.3% y/y for the second straight drop following a decline of 1.2% in November, data released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on Tuesday showed. In monthly terms, real average household spending fell 2.1% in December, for the second straight drop following a 0.9% decline in November.

MNI Tokyo Bureau | +81 90-2175-0040 |
MNI Tokyo Bureau | +81 90-2175-0040 |

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