Summer Bonuses Hit Nine-Year High at Major Japanese Companies

  • Additional compensation rose 1.4 percent to 843,577 yen
  • Bonuses have risen four years in row, but growth is slowing

Summer bonuses continue to grow at major Japanese companies, this year rising 1.4 percent on-year to the highest level since 2007, according to Health Ministry data released Friday.

Bonuses for the 374 companies with available data were on average 843,577 yen ($8,250) this summer, just shy of levels nine years ago when additional compensation was at its highest on record. Services and energy producers both saw more than a 15 percent increase in bonuses, but precision-instruments manufacturers cut theirs by 19 percent on average and steelmakers decreased theirs by 13 percent.

Summer bonus amounts have climbed for four years in a row since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came into power in late 2012, and after the Bank of Japan introduced record monetary stimulus measures. The growth has been slowing, though. In 2014, summer bonuses surged 7.3 percent from a year earlier. There are also year-end bonuses. Last year, they rose 3.7 percent from the end of 2014 to 830,434 yen, according to the ministry.