Japanese housewives, who typically control the family purse strings, are doling out more pocket money to their working husbands amid rising prices following the April sales tax hike.
The average monthly allowance has risen to 39,572 yen ($390) in 2014, from 38,457 yen in 2013, according to a survey of office workers conducted by Tokyo-based Shinsei Bank.
While this marks the first rise in two years, it’s still far from pre-global financial crisis levels. In 2008, Japanese salarymen received an average monthly allowance of 48,825 yen.
“As consumer prices increase and spending is driven up further by consumption tax hikes, consumers are having no choice but to increase allowances,” the bank said.
The average cost of lunch has risen to 541 yen, up 23 yen from last year, according to Shinsei. Meanwhile, the average amount spent per drinking session has risen by 9 yen to 3,483 yen. Total spending on drinking has risen by 770 yen to 8,459 per month.
The government’s consumption tax hike to 8 percent from 5 percent in April has pushed up prices across the board. In May, for example, Japan’s consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 3.4 percent, the fastest pace since 1982.
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