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The outstanding balance of Japan’s personal financial assets rose in 2003, marking its first gain in three years, the Bank of Japan said Monday.

The BOJ added, however, that households fell into “fund shortages” for the first time since 1990, when the data began to be collected, the Bank of Japan said Monday.

A fund shortage is a scenario in which a decrease in household funds due to expenditures, debt payments and other factors surpasses an increase in funds through salaries, sales of stockholdings and other factors.

The central bank said the nation’s personal financial assets totaled 1.41 quadrillion yen as of the end of 2003, up 1.6 percent from a year earlier and rising above 1.4 quadrillion yen for the first time in two years.

Behind last year’s increase in personal financial assets is the fact that the valuation of stockholdings rose amid the stock market recovery, BOJ officials said.

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