GDP急減速 景気腰折れへ警戒を強めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 18, 2010)
Govt must prevent economic slowdown
GDP急減速 景気腰折れへ警戒を強めよ(8月17日付・読売社説)

The Japanese economy, which has been recovering thanks to external demand and the effects of the government's economic stimulus measures, has suddenly slowed. The government must ensure that the adverse effects of this do not prevent economic growth.
 外需と政策効果を支えに回復してきた景気が急減速した。成長を腰折れさせぬよう、警戒を怠ってはならない。

The nation's real gross domestic product increased in the April-June quarter by 0.1 percent from the previous period. This represents the third consecutive quarter of growth, but the annualized growth rate is extremely low--only 0.4 percent.
 4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は、前期比0・1%増と、3四半期連続でプラスだった。だが、成長率は年換算で0・4%と、極めて低い。

Although domestic demand has shrunk, growth in the GDP had finally been maintained through exports and other forms of external demand. But the future of external demand is uncertain because of the rising yen and fears of economic downturns in other countries. In their policy management, the government and the Bank of Japan should give priority to stimulating the economy.
 内需はマイナスに転じ、輸出などの外需で、やっとプラス成長を維持した。円高や、海外経済の減速懸念で、外需の先行きも不透明である。政府・日銀は景気最優先で政策運営すべきだ。

Sharp drops feared

The sluggish domestic demand is the result of previously robust personal consumption that slumped in the April-June quarter to an almost flat level. Government measures such as eco points for purchases of energy-saving home electrical appliances and subsidies for buying environmentally friendly cars seem to be finally losing their impact.
 内需低迷の主因は、これまで堅調だった個人消費が、4~6月期はほぼ横ばいまで減速したことにある。省エネ家電のエコポイントやエコカー補助金もさすがに効果が薄れてきたようだ。

These are only a few economic stimulus measures, but the government is planning to terminate its subsidies for eco-friendly cars at the end of September. Car dealers and auto parts manufacturers are concerned about possible declines in sales and production as a result. Many predict that a sharp decrease in orders cannot be avoided from October.
 とはいえ、数少ない下支え役である。政府は9月末でエコカー補助金を打ち切るという。自動車の販売店や部品工場などは、「10月からは受注の大幅減が避けられない」などと、販売や生産の落ち込みを心配している。

This summer's heat wave is boosting sales of air conditioners and other summer-related products. However, more than a few electronics retail stores fear sales will drop sharply in reaction after the end of the seasonal demand caused by the blazing temperatures.
 夏の猛暑でエアコンなどは売れている。だが、“猛暑特需”の後に厳しい反動減がこないか、恐れる家電量販店も少なくない。

The government has said that its child-rearing allowances, which began in June, and other measures will eventually stimulate the economy. However, past handout policies such as the flat-sum allowance show that a significant economic boost cannot be expected from such steps.
 政府は、給付の始まった子ども手当などが、いずれ景気を刺激するというが、定額給付金など過去のばらまき政策の例から見て、大きな効果は期待できまい。

Instead, the government should use the reserve fund of this fiscal year's budget to implement measures to prevent the economy from slowing down, such as continuing part of the government subsidy program for purchases of eco-friendly cars.
 今年度予算の予備費を使って、エコカー補助金の一部を継続するなど、景気の減速を避ける手を打つべきだ。

Block further yen rise

Lower budget allocations for public works projects are apparently affecting the economy. Public investments dropped by a drastic 3.4 percent in the April-June quarter from the previous period. This in particular will deal a heavy blow to regional economies that lack powerful local industries.
 公共事業削減の影響も鮮明だ。4~6月期の公共投資は、前期比3・4%減と大きく落ち込んだ。有力な地場産業のない地方などでは、特に打撃となろう。

Apart from the reserve fund, the budget contains 1 trillion yen as a special allocation for future economic measures. Couldn't this money be used efficiently now to improve the economy?
 予備費とは別に、将来の景気対策に備えた、1兆円の予算枠もある。うまく活用できないか。

External demand maintained growth, but the growth rate has slowed. Domestic industries are affected significantly by the yen's appreciation--if it rises by just 1 yen against the dollar, Toyota Motor Corp. will lose 30 billion yen in annual profits and Honda Motor Co. will lose 17 billion yen. This may dampen recovering investment on plant and equipment.
 一方、外需はプラスを維持したが、伸びが鈍った。足もとでは円高の影響が大きい。円高が1円進めば、トヨタ自動車で年300億円、ホンダも170億円の利益が減るという。回復してきた設備投資にも、水をさしかねない。

The latest appreciation of the yen was triggered by additional steps taken by the U.S. government to ease the supply of money. To alleviate this influence, this nation's central bank must adopt a more proactive stance toward monetary relaxation.
 今回の円高は、アメリカの追加金融緩和がきっかけだ。その影響を和らげるには、日銀も金融緩和の姿勢を強める必要があろう。

A strong yen lowers the prices of imported goods and fuels deflation. Sharp appreciation must be avoided.
 円高は輸入物価を下げて、デフレにも拍車をかける。急激な進行は避けねばならない。

If the yen soars toward 80 yen to the dollar, the government should stress its willingness to intervene in foreign exchange, if necessary, to prevent further appreciation.
 円相場が80円に向けて急騰するようなら、政府は円高阻止に向けて、為替介入も辞さない強い姿勢を見せるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 17, 2010)
(2010年8月17日01時22分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2010-08-18 05:14 | 英字新聞

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