Price increases are prompting Japanese shoppers to buy less mayonnaise, showing the fragility of any economic rebound unless wages keep up with living costs.

Production of the sauce fell 5.1 percent in the five months that ended on Nov. 30 from a year earlier, which partly reflected stockpiling before Kewpie Corp. hiked prices by as much as 9 percent in July, followed by Ajinomoto Co. in August. The cost of living in Japan, excluding fresh food, climbed at the fastest pace in five years in November, even as salaries continued a tailspin that started in June 2012.

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