• Kyodo

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Workers may have suffered more than a 1 percent drop in real wages in the second half of 2013 from a year earlier when increases in consumer prices are factored in, according to government data and analysts.

Inflation-adjusted wages, published monthly by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, generally expanded from January to June, resulting in an overall 0.4 percent gain on year in the first half.

They then began contracting in July, marking monthly drops ranging between 1 to 2 percent up to November, with slow wage growth outpaced by prices lifted by high oil bills and the weak yen.

The December wages data, due out next month, are expected to get a boost from bonus raises at some businesses but are still likely to post a contraction as indications are that the higher bonuses were not enough to cover inflation.

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