Japan’s major companies increased wages in this year’s spring negotiations by less on average than last year, according to preliminary data released Monday by the Japan Business Federation or Keidanren, which represents the nation’s largest companies.
The average increase of 7,174 yen per month (about $66) represents a 2.19 percent increase — above 2 percent for the third year running but less than last year’s 2.59 percent hike of 8,502 yen.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly called for higher wages to help pull the country out of deflation by encouraging personal consumption.
“The wage growth trend is continuing, with most companies saying they have instituted pay-scale raises for three years running,” Keidanren said.
Keidanren released the preliminary data after calculating the average wage change in yen per union member at 62 companies in 15 different industries.
The lobby, which surveyed a total of 249 major firms across 21 industries, said it plans to release final results in early June.