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Japan labour ministry delays wages data release due to sampling glitches

[TOKYO] Japan's labour ministry on Monday announced that it would postpone the release of closely watched monthly wages data for February, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, due to errors caused by changing data sampling.

The ministry said it was undecided when the data for February and year-end bonuses would be released, adding that it would publish it as soon as it completes looking into details.

Analysts and policymakers are closely watching wages data as it provides clues on whether a virtuous economic cycle is taking hold to end nearly two decades of tepid growth and deflation.

The ministry changes data sampling once every few years by computer programming, which officials said had not caused a delay in the past. They had no idea whether the problem was caused by human error or computer programming.