物価大幅下落 デフレ退治に最善を尽くせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jun. 27, 2009)
Take every step to fight deflation
物価大幅下落 デフレ退治に最善を尽くせ(6月27日付・読売社説)

Are we seeing the start of a vicious circle in which both the economy and prices decline simultaneously?
 景気と物価が同時に落ち込むデフレの悪循環が始まったのだろうか。

The nationwide consumer price index fell 1.1 percent in May, year on year, recording the largest drop since the end of World War II.
 5月の全国消費者物価は前年同月比1・1%低下して、戦後最大の下落率を更新した。

The previous biggest fall in the CPI was 1 percent, recorded in May 2001. At that time, the Bank of Japan was fighting deflation, using the quantitative easing policy for the first time.
 これまで最大の下落率は1・0%、記録したのは2001年5月だった。当時、日銀は初の量的金融緩和でデフレと戦っていた。

Prices have dropped more steeply than those at that time, and the pace of decline is expected to quicken.
その時より物価は下がり、今後さらに下落率は拡大が見込まれる。

In the summer of 2000, the central bank lifted its zero-interest-rate policy on the strength of its optimistic view on the outlook for the economy. The move aggravated deflation.
 2000年夏、日銀は景気の先行きを楽観してゼロ金利政策を解除し、デフレを悪化させた。

This time, one misstep could lead to deflationary spiral. Now that the economy has shown slight signs of recovery, every measure needs to be taken to fight deflation.
今回も一歩誤れば、連鎖が止まらぬ「デフレスパイラル」を招きかねない。景気に薄日が差す今こそ、デフレ退治に最善を尽くすべきだ。

The effects of falls in crude oil and grain prices, which skyrocketed last year, are huge. However, prices of items excluding gasoline and food are increasingly falling. Even disregarding these special factors, current circumstances will tend to push the economy further into deflation.
 前年に高騰した原油や穀物の価格が、一転して下がった影響は大きい。だが、ガソリンや食料を除いた物価も下げ幅の拡大が続いている。特殊要因を除いても、デフレ圧力は強いと見た方がいい。

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Domestic demand anemic

One major factor is the slump in domestic demand, including consumption.
 主な原因は、消費をはじめとした内需の低迷である。

Department store sales have posted declines for 15 months in a row, and supermarket sales have fallen for six straight months.
 百貨店は15か月連続、スーパーも6か月連続で売上高が減った。

Many stores have cut the prices of items they sell and brought forward summer sales. This is because goods tend not to sell unless they are marked down. Department stores are struggling to sell clothing items, but low-price brand stores are doing good business.
夏のセールの前倒しなど、値下げの動きが広がるのは、安くしないと売れないからだ。百貨店で不振の衣料品も、低価格ブランドの専門店は売れ行き好調という。

With shrinking incomes due to corporate restructuring and cuts in overtime work, households are have been sharply reining in their spending. As a result, companies are engaged in price wars, leading to a decline in profits. This in turn translates into wage cuts.
 リストラや残業カットで収入が減り、家計は少しでも安い商品を選ぶようになる。その結果、企業は値下げ競争に走って利益が減り、さらなる賃下げを招く。

Curtailing spending is the right choice for individuals, but at the macroeconomic level, it prolongs a slump. In this regard, deflation is an intractable disease that robs an economy of dynamism.
 節約は個人の正しい選択だが、経済全体の停滞は長く深くなる。デフレは、経済の活力を奪う「難病」なのだ。

One major problem is the 45 trillion yen demand-supply shortfall. So that the effects of current economic measures can kick in, the government must come up with new policies seamlessly.
 問題は日本経済全体で45兆円の需要不足にある。景気対策の効果が息切れしないよう、切れ目ない政策対応が必要となる。

Measures that can boost demand--such as programs to fight unemployment, aid for medical and nursing care, and promotion of growing businesses, such as those in the environmental and energy-saving fields--must be given priority. Belt-tightening polices such as across-the-board cuts in social security spending are a no-no under deflation.
 失業対策や医療・介護現場への支援、環境・省エネなど成長産業の振興など、高い需要創出が見込める事業を優先したい。社会保障費の一律カットなど緊縮政策は、デフレ下では禁物である。

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Quantitative easing needed

If pessimistic views that deflation will deepen prevail, the economic situation may drastically deteriorate.
 「デフレが深刻になる」という悲観論が広がると、事態が急激に悪化する恐れが出てくる。

To combat the financial crisis that started in autumn, the Bank of Japan has supplied a large amount of funds to the market by purchasing long-term government bonds and corporate bonds, and the market has calmed down.
 日銀は昨秋からの金融危機を沈静化させるため、長期国債や社債の買い入れで資金を大量供給し、市場は落ち着きを取り戻した。

The main battlefield of monetary policy likely will shift to deflation. The central bank would be advised to come up with comprehensive quantitative easing measures with numerical targets and pledge those measures will be maintained until prices start to rise.
 今後はデフレが金融政策の主戦場となろう。数値目標を掲げる全面的な量的緩和に踏み切り、物価がプラスになるまで続けると約束してはどうか。

The Bank of Japan needs to show its determination to fight against the malignancy of deflation.
 日銀は、悪性のデフレを防ぐ決意を示してほしい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 27, 2009)
(2009年6月27日01時28分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-06-27 09:41 | 英字新聞

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