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Japan Oct real wages rise, offering hope of consumption pick-up

A picture taken on Nov 27, 2015 and made available on Dec 1, 2015 shows a city view of Tokyo, Japan.

[TOKYO] Japanese wages rose for the fourth straight month in October on an annual and inflation-adjusted basis, data showed on Friday, offering some hope a gradual increase in household income will underpin private consumption.

Wage hikes are crucial to the success of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's stimulus policies, which aim to nudge companies into using their huge cash piles on wages so that households can keep spending - generating a positive cycle in the economy.

Real wages, adjusted for inflation, rose 0.4 per cent in October from a year earlier after a revised 0.3 per cent gain in the previous month, as nominal wages outpaced tame inflation, data by the labour ministry showed.

Total cash earnings rose 0.7 per cent in October from a year earlier, increasing for the fourth straight month. Regular pay, which determines base salaries, edged up 0.1 per cent, the data showed.

"Wages are increasing gradually with resilience seen both in nominal and real terms," a labour ministry official said.

Overtime pay, a barometer of strength in corporate activity, rose an annual 1.2 per cent, the data showed.