Monthly allowances sent by parents to university students living away from home increased last year for the first time in seven years, according to a survey on college life.

For 4,584 students living away from their parents polled in October and November by the National Federation of University Co-operative Associations, the average monthly allowance stood at ¥72,280, up ¥2,670 from 2012, marking the first increase since 2006.

The increase could be due to a change in parental attitudes rather than a result of the improving economy, said Kumi Horiuchi, who was in charge of the survey.

“Parents might feel they don’t want to hurt their children financially,” considering their future expenses, including paying off their student loans and the expenses involved in job-hunting activities, Horiuchi said Thursday.

It’s too soon to see whether the pickup in the economy is having any impact, she said, as last year’s increase may have just been a one-off and the figure was still lower than the ¥79,930 recorded in 2007, the year before the “Lehman shock” global financial crisis.

Students managed to save an average of ¥12,140 per month, up from ¥10,710 in 2012. The figure came to 10.3 percent of the ¥117,930 they spent each month, the first time it has surpassed the 10 percent level since 1979, when officials began compiling figures.

“Today’s students in general are not willing to spend the money they receive,” Horiuchi said, adding she got a strong feeling they want to save for the future.

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