Personal financial assets totaled 1.396 quadrillion yen as of the end of 2002, down 1.3 percent from a year earlier and falling below 1.4 quadrillion yen for the first time in four years, the Bank of Japan said Monday.

It was the third consecutive yearly decline and the largest drop on record, surpassing the 0.6 percent fall marked at the end of the previous year, the central bank said.

The nation’s personal financial assets had been on the rise for some time even after the collapse of the bubble economy over a decade ago.

But last year’s drop shows that the stock market plunge is cutting into personal financial assets, analysts said.

Of the total assets, the outstanding amount of stockholdings fell 18.8 percent from a year before to 51.84 trillion yen. The composite Tokyo Stock Price Index registered 843.29 at the end of 2002, down from 1,032.14 a year earlier.

The outstanding amount of cash and savings rose 1.4 percent to 781.71 trillion yen.

After the limit placed in April on government guarantees on time deposits, personal money moved away from time deposits to demand deposits. The outstanding amount of demand deposits rose 23.2 percent.

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