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GDP大幅減 消費回復の後押しが必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Measures need to be taken to boost private consumption after tax hike
GDP大幅減 消費回復の後押しが必要だ

The decline in private consumption and other economic activity following the April 1 consumption tax hike has apparently been greater than initially expected.
 消費税率引き上げに伴う個人消費などの落ち込みは、当初の想定より大きかったようだ。

The government and the Bank of Japan must take all possible steps through their economic policies to prevent the adverse impact of the tax hike from continuing for a protracted period.
 消費増税の悪影響を長引かせないよう、政府と日銀は経済政策のかじ取りに万全を期さなければならない。

The nation’s real gross domestic product for the April-June period fell 1.7 percent from the previous quarter, marking the first decline in two quarters, according to Cabinet Office statistics released Wednesday.
 内閣府が発表した4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)は、前期比1・7%減と、2四半期ぶりのマイナス成長になった。

The price-adjusted real GDP contracted 6.8 percent at an annualized rate in the fiscal first quarter. It was the biggest quarterly decline in the almost three years since the economy contracted markedly during January-March 2011, in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake in March that year.
年率換算で6・8%減と、東日本大震災による落ち込み以来、約3年ぶりの大幅な減少である。

Private consumption, which rose significantly in the previous quarter due to a last-minute surge in demand before the tax hike, fell 5 percent over the quarter under review. This was greater than the 3.5 percent drop posted during April-June 1997, when the consumption tax rate was raised in April that year.
 4月の消費増税前に駆け込み需要で伸びた個人消費は、前期比5%減と、前回の消費増税があった1997年4~6月期の3・5%減より大きなマイナスだった。

Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari said, “The effects of the backlash that followed the pre-tax-hike surge in demand are likely to wane gradually, and the economy is expected to stage a moderate recovery in the quarters to come,” indicating his bullish projections.
 甘利経済財政相は先行きについて、「次第に反動減の影響が薄れ、緩やかな景気回復が進む」と述べ、強気の見通しを示した。

Nevertheless, it is worrisome that the pickup in personal spending is weak, with department store and new automobile sales remaining sluggish even after July.
 だが、7月以降も百貨店の売上高や新車販売の不振が続くなど消費回復が鈍いのは気がかりだ。

Consumers may have been tightening their purse strings not only because of the tax hike, but also due to general price increases caused by the weakened yen and the rising price of crude oil.
 消費増税の影響だけでなく、円安や原油高による物価上昇もあって、消費者の財布のヒモが固くなっているのではないか。

Guard against slowdown

As capital investment by private companies also remains weak, there appears to be no engine for boosting domestic demand. Vigilance against an economic slowdown must be reinforced.
 設備投資も低調で、内需のけん引役が見当たらない。景気失速への警戒を強める必要がある。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to decide this year whether to proceed with a further increase in the consumption tax from 8 percent to 10 percent, currently slated for October 2015. He will likely need to clearly observe economic trends.
 安倍首相は年内にも、2015年10月に消費税率を予定通り8%から10%に引き上げるかどうか決断する。経済動向を注意深く見極めることになろう。

Economic measures formulated last December to ease the adverse impact of the consumption tax hike have not yielded sufficient positive effects, as there have been delays in public works projects due to labor shortages at construction sites and the soaring price of construction materials. Smooth implementation of these projects is needed.
 消費増税の影響緩和のため昨年12月に策定された経済対策は、建設現場の人手不足や資材高騰のあおりで公共工事が遅れ、まだ十分な効果が表れていない。事業の円滑な執行が求められる。

The mismatch between employers’ needs and job seekers’ skills in the labor market must be eliminated by improving vocational training, while measures should be taken to prevent the shortage of needed manpower from having further ill effects.
 職業訓練の充実などで求職と求人のミスマッチ解消を促進し、人手不足の弊害拡大を防ぎたい。

It is also important for the government to steadily carry out its growth strategy, including the lowering of the effective corporate tax rate and the easing of regulations.
 法人税実効税率の引き下げや規制緩和など、成長戦略の着実な実行も大切だ。

It is desirable to reinforce such trends, as reinvigorated corporate activity would lead to wage hikes, which in turn would stimulate personal spending.
企業活動の活発化が賃金上昇につながり、消費を刺激する流れを強めたい。

Soaring electricity rates will also hinder economic growth. As the restart of its nuclear power plant has been delayed, Hokkaido Electric Power Co. has applied for a second round of rate hikes, involving increases of about 20 percent.
 電力料金の高騰も成長の重しとなる。原子力発電所の再稼働が遅れているため、北海道電力は約2割の再値上げを申請した。

Other power companies, including Kansai Electric Power Co., have shown signs of following suit.
関西電力なども追随の構えを見せる。

The Nuclear Regulation Authority should conduct its safety examinations of nuclear power plants efficiently, and those plants whose safety has been confirmed should be allowed to steadily restart.
 原子力規制委員会の審査を効率的に進め、安全性を確認できた原発から着実に再稼働すべきだ。

Even though the yen has settled into a lower value, the nation’s exports have remained sluggish. We wonder if the nation’s earning power through foreign trade has weakened.
 円安が定着しているのに、輸出の不振が続いている。日本の「稼ぐ力」が低下していないか。

The public and private sectors must join hands to quickly boost the international competitiveness of industries and analyze structural problems with the economy, including the hollowing-out of industries.
 官民を挙げて産業競争力の強化に取り組むとともに、産業空洞化など構造的な要因の分析も急がなければならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 14, 2014)
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by kiyoshimat | 2014-08-15 06:36 | 英字新聞

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