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Economy

Japan real wages in April fall at fastest pace since Dec

Data fans fears about outlook for consumer sentiment

Real wages, a gauge of household purchasing power, fell 0.7% in April from a year earlier.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Japan's April inflation-adjusted real wages fell at their fastest pace since December, government data showed on Tuesday, fanning fears about the outlook for consumer sentiment after the economy took a hit from the new coronavirus outbreak.

The world's third-largest economy slipped into recession -- marked by two quarters of negative growth - in the March quarter after the pandemic hurt demand at home and abroad.

Real wages, a gauge of household purchasing power, fell 0.7% in April from a year earlier, labour ministry data showed, dropping for the second straight month.

The monthly wage data showed nominal total cash earnings dropped 0.6% in the year to April, seeing their largest fall since July last year.

One-off special payments advanced 10.6% in April after an upwardly revised 0.5% gain in March. Regular pay -- or base salary, which makes up most of total cash earnings -- was flat, the data showed.

Overtime pay, a barometer of strength in corporate activity, slumped 12.2% in April from a year earlier, down for an eight straight month.

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