Keidanren reports major firms raised wages by 2.54%, still short of Abe’s 3% goal

Kyodo

Major companies increased wages in this year’s spring negotiations by an average 2.54 percent, falling short of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s 3 percent goal, the nation’s largest business lobby said Wednesday.

The pace of increase is equivalent to ¥8,621 per month — the highest since 1994 and up 0.36 percentage points, or ¥1,466, from the previous year — according to preliminary data released by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren). It topped 2 percent for the fifth consecutive year.

Before the annual negotiations began, Abe urged business leaders to lift monthly salaries by 3 percent to spur private consumption and fight chronic deflation.

Keidanren said it believes many companies have cleared the 3 percent goal on annual income basis, which also includes bonuses.

The business lobby released the preliminary data after calculating the average wage change in yen per union member at 68 companies in 13 different industries.

The lobby, which surveyed a total of 252 major firms across 21 industries, said it plans to release final results in June.