Japanese women are giving their husbands larger monthly allowances to offset the sales tax hike that kicked off the start of the financial year.

Spending money, often set by wives who control the family budget, rose 2.9 percent to ¥39,572 from last year, said Shinsei Bank Ltd., a Tokyo-based lender whose data go back to 1979. Salarymen spent more on drinking sessions, spending ¥3,483 an average of 2.4 times a month.

While Thursday's report suggests family budgets may be withstanding April's 3 percentage point tax increase, allowances remain at about half their 1989 level, at the height of the bubble economy. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared the end of deflation in an interview this week, and he now needs companies to dig into record cash piles and boost wages that lag inflation.