Major Japanese companies agreed to raise monthly pay by 5.58%, or ¥19,480, on average in this year's spring labor-management wage talks, according to the first tally by the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren.

The result, released Monday, far exceeded last year's rise of 3.91%, or ¥13,110, and topped 4% for the first time since 1992, when the first-tally average wage hike stood at 4.78%, or ¥12,893. The amount of the pay hike was the highest since the current tally method was adopted in 1976.

A Keidanren official said that the survey outcome highlighted the impact of the business lobby's calls to boost momentum for wage hikes.

In this year's wage talks, the labor side demanded bigger pay increases than the previous year's due to inflation and labor shortages. A number of major companies fully accepted these requests. Some companies promised higher wage growth than demanded by labor unions.

With the exception of the cargo transport industry, companies in 15 industry sectors agreed to wage hikes exceeding those of the previous year.

The average wage hike stood at 12.04% in the steel industry, far exceeding last year's 2.77%. Until last year, major firms in the steel industry held wage negotiations once every two years.

The average wage increase came to 6.85% in the machinery and metals sector, up from 5.22%, 6.07% in the shipbuilding industry, up from 3.67%, and 6.02% in the nonferrous metal industry, up from 4.31%.

On the other hand, the average hike rate stood at 3.13% in the cargo transport sector, down from 4.00%.

The tally covered 89 companies in 16 sectors that responded in a survey of 244 major firms in 22 sectors.

Keidanren will release its final tally result in summer.