• Kyodo

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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.

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