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[TOKYO] Japanese Economics Minister Akira Amari said on Monday he expects real wages to trun positive in the fiscal year starting April as the economy recovers from nearly two decades of mild deflation.
Wage growth is crucial for the success of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's reflationary policies of monetary and fiscal stimulus to promote private-sector expansion.
Inflation-adjusted "real" wages fell 4.3 per cent year-on-year in November, down for the 17th straight month and marking the steepest decline in five years, as wages failed to keep pace with consumer price gains, weighing on private consumption.
Amari, speaking to reporters after a meeting between cabinet ministers and ruling party lawmakers, noted that falling oil prides were generally positive for the Japanese economy but could impede the Bank of Japan from reaching its 2 per cent inflation goal.
Excluding the effects of a sales tax increase, Japan's annual core consumer inflation stood at 0.7 per cent in November, slowing for a fourth straight month and far below the BOJ's target.
Amari repeated the government's standard comment urging the BOJ to do its utmost to meet the 2 per cent inflation goal.