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Asia Insight

Japanese economy showing signs of exiting deflation

Wage hikes hold the key to higher consumption as growth readies to enter 6th year

SHOTARO TANI and IORI KAWATE, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- Expensive clothing was not much of a thing for Hiroki Ishimoto, an employee at a public relations company in Tokyo. "I've never been one who buys fancy clothes," he said. "Always settled for Zara and Uniqlo."

His wardrobe underwent a significant upgrade in 2017 after the 27-year-old received "quite a big" increase in his winter bonus. Now when he goes to work, it is typically in his brand new coat from Mackintosh, which set him back a cool 200,000 yen ($1760). That's not the only thing that has changed. "I'm eating out quite a lot more now," he said, expecting that his company will continue doing well, which may lead to further pay increases.

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