business

Japan household spending rises but wages fall in March

23 Comments
By Kaori Kaneko and Tetsushi Kajimoto

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23 Comments
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The minimum wage should be raised until the so-called "labour shortage" disappears. Companies that cannot afford to pay the higher wages should be forced out of business.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is a given considering the cost of products for all the kids starting school.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the LDP really wants to raise the inflation rate to 2% then raise everything from the bottom - the minimum wage.

This is a huge problem that is often overlooked here. Due to all too much being "Tokyo-centric" here raising the minimum wage across the board, and making it the same, throughout the entire country, would have some serious consequences for far too many businesses.

The  minimum wage in Tokyo's is the highest among prefectures, is about 932 yen ($9.20), In Okinawa, the lowest, it's 714 yen ($7.05)

So you can see what would happen. Also to raise it more in Tokyo would drag ever more people TO Tokyo because of it, and the regional area businesses could not compete, or face going out of business due to increased labor costs. It's already happening in many sectors of the economy down here.

No one down here really works are minimum wage anyway, well HS kids do, but the average is now running about 800 per hour. "Higher" priced PT positions are running at 1,000 per hour, but in Tokyo, that would be ludicrously low.

So you can see the problem with an across the board increase.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Prices up, wages down: that's Abenomics. 

"Abenomics" doesn't target wages. Those decisions are made independently in corporate boardrooms. Put blame where blame is due.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Prices have gone up.... I've noticed the cost of basics has increased. And with the looming 10% increase, big ticket items are on the horizon to be purchased before then....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For years, weak spending has caused many companies to refrain from raising prices

Utter nonsense, was the person who wrote this crap hiding in a hole.

Since Abe took prices have gone up and in cases where prices were not raised manufacturers have cunninngly reduced the size or quantity.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The 1st quarter won’t be as bad as the second quarter when many tax payments are demanded in May and June and then the heavy rain kicks in.,,,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Prices up, wages down: that's Abenomics. Abe was only able to claim wages were going up because he was fiddling the figures.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It is so frustrating to see wages so stagnant. As stated above, in so many other countries, wages are increased and prices increase. It’s a reasonable trade off. But not here! Why can’t the government and companies realize this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Govt. must take the responsibility to assure our wage raise at-least 30% too.

No it shouldn't. That responsibility belongs to employers. If they refuse, hike THEIR taxes, not ours.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Many US states have raised their minimum wages to about $15/hour (apx. 1,500 yen) and prices and inflation have skyrocketed.

If the LDP really wants to raise the inflation rate to 2% then raise everything from the bottom - the minimum wage.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

End of financial year plus weather in March = increased spending . Of course if there was a dip the weather would be conversely blamed for it....one would have to have rocks in the head to still believe this government statistics .

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Govt. must take the responsibility to assure our wage raise at-least 30% too.

Be nice, but if it were enforced it would be the start of a nightmare here in Japan. If businesses were forced to increase the salaries of employees by 30% you would see hyperinflation start, a 100 yen drink would probably rise to 10,000 yen or more, and it would bring the overall economy crashing down.

Also consider too that for businesses to increase the pay by that amount means that their products would be forced to be priced that much more as well. End result....panic!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We don't mind to accept 10% con. tax if Govt. can assure our wage raise at-least 30% in advanced prior to apply that 10% con. tax.

Taking money from salary man is very easy by giving Govt. instruction to all companies.

Govt. must take the responsibility to assure our wage raise at-least 30% too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Some policymakers worry that the tax hike could hurt consumer spending...

ANY policy maker that thinks the tax hike WONT hurt consumer spending here should lose their job. In fact, they should go out and find a real job, and see how the "real" world works!

Perhaps it's the premium Friday's kicking in? 

Oh come on, this is so "Heisei", Premium Fridays are ancient history!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

spending rises because the idiots keep raising prices and soon raise taxes too. it is almost like they are trying to keep the country from prospering

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Consumers aren't the problem: they're doing their part by spending more, despite lower wages. The corporates are the culprits by refusing to give raises. So rescind the corporate tax now, for the sake of the many, not the super-rich few.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Perhaps it's the premium Friday's kicking in? Had to say it. Mmmmm just can't bring myself to trust these figures released from a historically devious source. And there is an election coming up so the plethora of good news stories and dodgy figures are flooding quasi news sites. At least they admit real wages are dropping. So that's good news I guess.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Also, this data could be influenced by purchases made in March, prior to the end of the fiscal year.

I was thinking the same thing. I wonder if they even sneak some of the Olympic expenditure into the 'household goods' column just to make things look better. At any rate, I take these 'reports' with a handful of salt - they always differ from the reality on the street.

Some policymakers worry that the tax hike could hurt consumer spending...

I would think ALL policymakers should be worried about it. If not, they are quite inept at their job!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Our household spending is down by at least 15%.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Household spending gained 2.1 percent from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday, beating a median market forecast for a 1.7 percent increase.

Details please, details. Just making this statement does not give an accurate picture of reality. This could be due to increases in food costs, and not connected to any durable goods purchases. Also, this data could be influenced by purchases made in March, prior to the end of the fiscal year.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This report shows exactly how fickle the Japanese economy really is. It’s up and down like a yo-yo teetering on a knife edge. This is dispute nearly a decade of that Abenomics crap.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

With the new labor law capping overtime (pay), wages will fall more.

All the new law did is it made employees no longer able to report more than 45 hours or 30 hours on average, but still work the original 100 hours, except now can no longer get overtime pay for more than half the overtime actually worked.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

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