2.6%成長 消費増税に耐えられる体力か

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 14, 2013
Has the economy recovered enough to withstand consumption tax hike?
2.6%成長 消費増税に耐えられる体力か(8月13日付・読売社説)

Although Japan’s economy continued to grow in the April-June quarter, it is worrying that the improvement has begun to lose steam.
 プラス成長を維持したものの、勢いに陰りが見えるのは気がかりだ。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make a final decision in autumn on whether to raise the consumption tax rate next April as scheduled. The tax increase would be in vain if it harms the economy and spoils an opportunity to escape deflation.
 安倍首相は、来年4月の消費税率引き上げの当否を、今秋に最終判断する。消費増税によって景気が腰折れし、デフレ脱却のチャンスを逃しては元も子もない。

Abe will have to make a difficult judgment on whether the national economy has recovered enough to withstand a consumption tax hike.
 日本経済が消費増税に耐えられる体力を回復しているかどうか、難しい見極めが求められよう。

The nation’s real-term gross domestic product for the April-June period, released by the Cabinet Office on Monday, improved 0.6 percent over the previous quarter, recording a third straight quarter of growth. The growth rate stood at 2.6 percent on an annualized basis, down from 3.8 percent registered in the January-March quarter.
 内閣府が発表した今年4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は、前期比0・6%増と、3四半期連続でプラスになった。年率換算の成長率は2・6%で、1~3月期の3・8%から減速した。

Personal consumption and exports soared in the April-June quarter due to the effects of Abenomics, the economic policy put forth by the Abe administration. But plant and equipment investment, which had been expected to be a growth engine, declined for the sixth consecutive quarter and housing investment dropped unexpectedly.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」の効果などで、個人消費や輸出は堅調だった。一方、成長のエンジン役と期待された設備投資は6四半期連続で減少し、住宅投資も予想外のマイナスだった。

The growth rate for the April-June period is an important indicator to judge whether the consumption tax rate should be increased from 5 percent to 8 percent as scheduled.
 4~6月期の成長率は、消費税率を5%から8%に上げるかどうか判断する重要な指標だ。

Private-led growth vital

Akira Amari, state minister for economic and fiscal policy, acknowledged the continued growth during a news conference Monday, noting that “favorable figures have continued to be recorded.” But the growth rate figure was far lower than the mid-3 percent level anticipated by economists.
 甘利経済財政相は記者会見で、「引き続きいい数字が出ている」と述べたが、3%台半ばの成長率を見込んでいたエコノミストらの事前予想を大きく下回った。

Abe told reporters the government “will continue to take all possible economic measures.” The goal of ending deflation must be achieved by putting top priority on business revitalization.
 首相は記者団に「今後も経済政策に万全を期したい」と述べた。景気を最優先し、今度こそデフレ脱却を果たさねばならない。

It is important to achieve self-sustaining economic growth led by the private sector. The government must promptly carry out measures such as those to help boost capital investment by private firms. An extraordinary Diet session to be convened in autumn is expected to be a crucial stage for the promotion of the government’s growth strategy.
 重要なのは、民間が主導する自律的な経済成長の達成である。設備投資のテコ入れなどを急ぐべきだ。秋の臨時国会は成長戦略推進の正念場となる。

A tax rate increase of three percentage points is estimated to raise consumer prices by about 2 percent. If prices rise but household income does not, consumption will suffer a blow. The key here is whether corporate profits will be smoothly reflected in wages.
 消費税率を予定通り3%上げた場合、消費者物価は約2%押し上げられる計算だ。家計の収入が増えないまま物価が上がると、消費も打撃を受けよう。企業の利益を円滑に賃金に波及させられるかどうかがカギを握る。

When the sales tax was increased from 3 percent to 5 percent in April 1997, households suffered additional burdens caused by, among other factors, the discontinuation of special tax reductions. This was accompanied by the Asian monetary crisis and serious financial uncertainties, thereby causing the national economy to slow down sharply. It must be remembered that these developments led to long years of deflation.
 1997年4月に消費税率を3%から5%に上げた際は、特別減税の打ち切りなど家計の負担増が重なった。アジア通貨危機と深刻な金融不安も加わり、景気が急減速した。長期デフレの発端となったことを忘れてはならない。

Consumption tax revenue climbed, but revenue from income and corporate taxes dropped, making it more difficult to achieve the key goal of fiscal rehabilitation.
 消費税の税収は増えたが、景気低迷で所得税や法人税が減り、肝心の財政再建も遠のいた。

To prevent a repetition of the past policy blunder, it is of utmost importance to analyze the economic situation from multiple perspectives.
 過去の失政を繰り返さないためには、経済情勢を多角的に分析することが何より大切だ。

It was reasonable that Abe has called for listening to the opinions of experts and corporate managers about the advisability of raising the consumption tax and the likely effects of a tax increase and using that input when making a policy judgment.
 首相が政策判断の材料として、消費税率引き上げの是非や増税した場合の影響について、有識者や企業経営者の意見を聞くよう指示したのは妥当である。

The government must lend an unprejudiced ear to voices from various sectors.
 予断を持たず、各方面の声に耳を傾けてもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug.13, 2013)
(2013年8月13日01時29分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2013-08-15 06:28 | 英字新聞

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