Japan’s household wealth rose to a record as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reflates the world’s third-biggest economy, giving a cushion to consumers facing higher costs of living.
Household assets increased to 1,645 trillion yen ($15 trillion) at the end of June, up 2.7 percent from a year earlier, according to a quarterly Bank of Japan report released yesterday. Holdings in investment trusts climbed 15 percent to an all-time high of 82 trillion yen.
Rising wealth from a buoyant stock market and a pickup in land prices may cushion households as an April increase in the sales levy fuels inflation that was 1.4 times wage growth in July. The challenge for Abe is to encourage consumers to use their savings — still mostly parked in cash — to bolster the economy as he considers raising the tax another two percentage points to 10 percent.