Japanese husbands' spending slumps to 30-year low

Business & Finance Featured Japan - July 3rd, 2013
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The average monthly allowance of Japanese husbands slumped to 38,457 yen ($418), the lowest level since 1982 at the start of the country’s financial year.

Salarymen’s spending money plunged 3% from last year to less than half the 1990 peak, according to a report by Shinsei Bank Ltd. from a survey of 2,000 people made in April.

The report published Friday said salarymen allotted more of their pocket money, typically budgeted by wives, to leisure, such as going out for drinks.

They spent 3,474 yen on drinking an average 2.2 times a month, up 21% from last year, the Shinsei report showed.

“A husband’s allowance is the most lagging indicator of Japan’s economy, while female spending is the first to increase,” said Hiroshi Miyazaki, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo.

“Japanese salarymen don’t have to be pessimistic. Their pocket money should gradually increase to reflect Japan’s recovery.”

Salaries have remain unchanged in May from a year earlier, the labor ministry said Tuesday.

The average monthly wage for a Japanese worker was 314,127 yen last year, according to the ministry.

The slump reflects that the benefits of a growing economy and rising company profits amid Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge on reviving the economy has not yet flowed through to workers.

The Japanese leader’s “Abenomics” vowed unprecedented monetary expansion, fiscal stimulus and business deregulation in a bid to arouse the world’s third-largest economy.