Japanese personal savings rose to $5.04 trillion at the end of fiscal 1988, an average of $126,000 per household and up 11.4 percent over the previous year, the Bank of Japan said in a report Wednesday.
It was the third consecutive year that personal savings, deposited at banks or postal offices and held in stocks, bonds and insurance, posted such a double-digit increase, said a central bank official."An increase in household incomes, thanks to the nation's booming economy, is contributing to a continued increase in savings," said the official, who spoke anonymously.
The official said an international comparison of savings was not available due to changes in exchange rates, but said Japan's total personal savings is the second largest in the world after the United States, which has twice as many people.
Numerous surveys say the heads of Japan's 40 million households save to prepare for illness and disaster, or for retirement and education fees for children.
The United States has suggested that Japanese should save less and buy more imports to cut the nation's massive trade surplus, which totaled $78.8 billion last year.