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Japanese companies agree to 5.24% wage hike, largest union says

TOKYO: A group of Japanese companies have agreed to raise wages by 5.24 percent this year, the country’s largest union, Rengo, said on Thursday.

The third announcement on the result of the annual salary negotiations is compared to the second survey of 5.25 percent and the initial result of 5.28 percent last month.

The results of the closely watched wage negotiations are announced in several stages, starting with blue-chip companies in mid-March.

The average growth in wage increases tends to decline from the initial cycle, as an increasing number of small businesses complete negotiations around the April-June quarter.

The results of the next poll are expected to be released on April 18.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is counting on strong wage growth to pull Japan out of more than two decades of deflation, while Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda stresses that sustained wage growth and inflation are crucial for a further withdrawal of massive monetary stimulus measures.

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