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The average amount of savings secretly accumulated by married women in 2016 was ¥1.47 million, rising by more than ¥200,000 from the year before, according to a survey by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co.

The survey, released Wednesday, showed that husbands, on the other hand, had an average total secret savings of ¥859,888, up ¥270,830 from the previous year.

The rise is seen as a good sign, as many people eat into their savings during economic rough spots, decreasing the total amount.

The online survey was conducted from Oct. 6 to Oct. 12 with valid responses coming from 1,619 married people. The insurance company has been conducting the survey since 2006.

As a result, the average amount of secret savings married people in their 20s to 70s have was about ¥1.17 million, up about ¥230,000 from last year, it showed.

A majority of the married people — 63.1 percent of men and 75.2 percent of women who responded — said they set aside the savings for use in an emergency, selecting from a list in which multiple answers were allowed.

As for men, 51.2 percent also said they are secretly saving money to use on hobbies, the second-biggest purpose for the savings, while 37.3 percent of women said they are saving up for the future.

“The rise in the amount can be attributed to the improving job market,” said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda.

Kodama also pointed out that married couples in their 20s seem to be more cautious and tend to save instead of spend.

According to the survey, the amount of secret savings married couples in their 20s had averaged ¥666,019 in 2016, more than double the amount in 2012.

“The unemployment rate of younger people decreased from over 10 percent in 2012 to around 5 percent, explaining the rise in savings,” Kodama said. “But if this becomes excessive, it will reduce individual consumption and worsen the economy.”

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