Bonus drops first time in three years

Kyodo

The winter bonus has shrunk for the first time in three years in the face of the strong yen and the sluggish global economy, according to a survey by the Keidanren business lobby.

At major companies, the bonus shrank 2.95 percent to an average of ¥778,996 compared with the previous winter. The plunge in production caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami also was a factor, the group said Wednesday.

The winter bonus survey covered 168 companies in 19 sectors. The drop the third-largest ever, it said.

At manufacturers, the bonus shrank 3.61 percent on average to ¥769,270, hit by large declines in the steel, electronics, machinery metals and textile sectors.

Nonmanufacturers fared slightly better, with a drop of 1.03 percent to ¥809,831.