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Friday, 21st January 2011
In General Japan News,

Drop in secret savings in Japan

There has been a decline in the amount of so-called secret savings held by Japanese housewives.

A survey revealed that hesokuri levels, the cash and investments that woman keep without informing their husband, fell by 18 per cent last year - the lowest level since 2007.

Sompo Japan Insurance latest report estimated that the average holding fell to 3.1 million yen compared to 3.7 million in 2009.

It is thought that higher energy bills and an increase in food prices has led some housewives to reduce their savings in order to cope with daily economic pressures.

"Because they're charged with household finances, housewives can tell where Japan’s economy is going," explained Minoru Sugiyama, an official at Sompo Japan.

"Japanese people will be more defensive this year after cutting expenses and facing falling income. Family finances and Japan's economy seem to be getting worse."

Meanwhile, China claims its economy has now overtaken Japan in terms of overall GDP.

Written by Susan Ballion