TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp’s (7203.T) labour union plans to seek an average pay rise of 10,100 yen ($91.98) per month in wage negotiations this year, public broadcaster NHK reported on Thursday, 600 yen less than the increase granted last year.

The smaller request by Japan’s corporate bellwether could be a setback for the economy, as companies hesitate to raise wages out of fear of committing to higher costs.

Toyota last year offered a pay raise of 10,700 yen on average, which was down 1,000 yen from the previous year.

Annual wage talks in March between management and unions – announced by major companies in sectors such as cars and electronics – set the tone for full-time employees’ wages across the nation, which have implications for consumer spending and inflation.

($1 = 109.8100 yen)

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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