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--Japan Feb Average Wages -0.8% Y/Y, 2nd Straight Drop; Jan -0.6% 
--Japan Feb Real Average Wages -1.1% Y/Y; Jan -0.7% 
--Japan Feb Base Wages -0.1% Y/Y, 2nd Straight Drop 
--Japan Feb Overtime Pay -0.5% Y/Y, 3rd Straight Drop 
--Japan Feb Bonuses, Other Special Pay -34.2% Y/Y, Jan -1.4%
     TOKYO (MNI) - Average wages fell 0.8% on year in February, the second
straight year-on-year drop following a 0.6% decline in January and real wages
were also in negative territory, preliminary data released Friday by the
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare showed.
     The key points from the Monthly Labour Survey:
     --Total monthly average cash earnings per regular employee in Japan fell
0.8% on year to Y264,435 in February, the second straight year-on-year drop
following a 0.6% fall in January.
     --Some sectors, such as 'eating out', are raising wages to ensure it
attracts the necessary employees, but others are generally cautious about
raising base wages amid uncertainty over the global and domestic economies.
     --In real terms, average wages fell 1.1% on year in February, the second
straight drop following -0.7% in January. The total CPI minus imputed rents rose
0.2% on year in February, unchanged from 0.2% in January.
     --Base wages, the key to a steady recovery in cash earnings, fell 0.1% in
February from a year earlier, the second straight year-on-year drop after
falling 0.6% in the previous month. Overtime pay fell 0.5% on year in February,
the third straight y/y drop after falling 1.1% in January.
     --Bonuses and other special pay fell 34.2% from a year ago, the second
straight drop following a fall of 1.4% in January. This category is seen as a
volatile data series, fluctuating wildly.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email: hiroshi.inoue@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MAJDS$,M$A$$$,M$J$$$]