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Japan Sept real wages rise as consumer prices sink

[TOKYO] Japan's real wages rose for the eighth consecutive month in September, data showed on Monday, helped by falling prices as the economy shows scant sign of generating inflation.

Real wages, which are adjusted for moves in consumer prices, rose 0.9 per cent in September from a year earlier, faster than a revised 0.6 per cent gain in the previous month.

Wage earners' nominal cash earnings rose 0.2 per cent year-on-year in September. Revised data showed that in the previous month nominal wages were unchanged from a year earlier.

Japanese policymakers originally hoped aggressive monetary easing and fiscal spending would spur economic growth, which would in turn push up real wages and spark inflation.

Instead, consumer prices have slumped due to lacklustre growth, which is pushing up real wages but unlikely to benefit the economy.

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Separate data last month showed core consumer prices fell for a seventh straight month and household spending slumped in September, tell-tale signs the government's attempt to reflate the economy is not working.

Special payments, such as bonuses, fell 2.9 per cent in September from a year earlier, versus a revised 0.5 per cent annual decline in August, data on Monday showed.

Special payments are generally small, so even a slight change in the amount can cause big percentage changes.

Regular pay, which determines base salaries, increased an annual 0.4 per cent. Overtime pay - a barometer of strength in corporate activity - fell 1.3 per cent in September from a year ago.


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