• Kyodo

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A survey by a credit research group has found that 49.0 percent of responding companies in western Japan say they expect to raise wages in fiscal 2014 starting in April in light of the economic rebound.

The figure, up 7.4 points from the previous year’s survey, marks a record high since the survey was begun in 2006, Teikoku Databank Ltd.’s Osaka branch said, according to results released Wednesday.

The Internet survey was conducted in late January on about 4,000 companies of various sizes in six western prefectures, including Osaka and Kyoto, and drew 1,773 responses.

According to the results, 36.9 percent of the companies are set to carry out an increase in base pay, while 30.0 percent will increase employees’ bonuses and lump-sum payments.

The findings come amid growing views among labor and management officials as well as economists that the rate of increase is likely to eclipse 2 percent at major companies.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is urging companies to raise wages to mitigate the impact from the first stage of the doubling of the consumption tax in April to 8 percent from 5 percent.

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