(社説)マイナス成長 危うい政策目標と想定

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 18
EDITORIAL: Dismal GDP data highlights need to review policy targets
(社説)マイナス成長 危うい政策目標と想定

Japan’s economy shrank during the three months from April through June, its first decline in three quarters. The nation’s real gross domestic product--the value of total economic output adjusted for price changes--fell 0.4 percent during the quarter from the previous three months, according to preliminary data released Aug. 17 by the Cabinet Office. At this rate, the size of economic contraction will reach 1.6 percent on an annualized basis.
 内閣府が発表した4~6月期の国内総生産(GDP)速報値は3四半期ぶりにマイナス成長となった。物価変動の影響を除いた実質成長率は前期比0・4%減。このペースが1年間続くと想定した年率換算では1・6%減だった。

Consumer spending dropped in spite expectations of continued recovery. That is because a weaker yen triggered increases in the prices of food and other daily products while wage growth was weaker than expected. This only added to the financial burden on households.
 回復が進むと見られた個人消費が落ち込んだ。円安で食料品などが値上げされたが賃金はそれほど伸びず、実質的な家計の負担が増したためだ。

Exports declined for the first time in six quarters, even though they were expected to grow due to the effects of a weaker yen that makes Japanese products cheaper in overseas markets.
また、円安効果で伸びると期待された輸出も、6四半期ぶりのマイナスだった。

The consensus view was that the economy had been recovering gradually since the consumption tax rate increase in April last year, which depressed consumer spending.
 昨年4月の消費増税後、景気はゆるやかに回復していると見られていた。ここにきてのマイナス成長は日本経済の実像を考えるうえで示唆的である。

The fall in GDP was not caused by any specific factor that delivered a body blow to the economy.
 このマイナス成長は何か大きなショックによって引き起こされたものではない。

Rather, overall economic conditions were relatively good during the period.
むしろこの間、経済環境は比較的良好だった。

Corporate earnings improved further and the stock market rebounded.
企業業績は改善し株価は回復。

Job growth was strong.
雇用増の動きも活発だ。

A surge of foreign visitors to Japan was a big boon to related businesses.
訪日観光客の急増で関連産業は潤った。

The Bank of Japan continued its aggressive monetary easing, while public works spending remained at a high level.
日本銀行は金融緩和を続け、公共事業も高水準だ。

The contraction in the April-June quarter offers some important clues to what's going on in the Japanese economy.
Despite this favorable environment, the economy failed to expand.
 こんな好条件のもとでも日本の成長率はさえなかった。

And yes, there was some destabilizing factors in the world economy.
 もちろん、世界経済には不安定な動きも確かにあった。

In Europe, the debt crisis in Greece caused serious confusion. China’s economic slowdown became more pronounced.
欧州ではギリシャ債務問題による混乱があり、中国経済は減速傾向が次第にはっきりしてきた。

But these external factors are not temporary in nature. We should probably assume that instability in the global economy will continue for a while.
 とはいえ、こうした海外要因は一時的なものではない。しばらくこの不安定な状況が続くと見たほうがいい。

If so, it is hard to expect a dramatic rise in exports or a further sharp increase in spending in Japan by foreign tourists in the coming months. In short, we should not place too much hope on growth in external demand.
ならば、今後輸出が劇的に増えたり、日本を訪れる外国人観光客の需要がさらに飛躍的に盛り上がったりすることは想定しにくく、外需に過大な期待はできない。

In its policy efforts to restore fiscal sanity, the government is pursuing a target of a primary surplus--a situation where government tax revenue exceeds all its spending other than net interest--in fiscal 2020.
 政府は、2020年度に基礎的財政収支を黒字にするという財政健全化計画を掲げている。

In setting the target, however, the government assumed that the economy would pull off a strong real growth of 2 percent and expand by 3 percent in nominal terms.
その前提は実質2%、名目3%という高い成長率である。

A tough-minded analysis of Japan’s economic reality behind its negative growth during the April-June period, however, makes clear that it is risky to bet on any significant economic expansion in planning and executing policy measures to dig the nation out of a budget hole that is driving accumulated debt to dangerous levels.
だが、今回のマイナス成長という現実を冷静に分析すれば、成長期待だけで財政再建を進める危うさは自明と言える。

The latest GDP data also offers valuable reference information for the Bank of Japan, which has continued to provide huge monetary stimulus to the economy with an eye to achieving an inflation target of 2 percent.
 また2%インフレ目標を掲げて大規模な金融緩和を続ける日銀にも、貴重な指標となったはずだ。

The central bank started the radical monetary expansion campaign on the assumption that consumers will ramp up their spending when they expect prices to rise. Increased consumer spending then should bolster economic growth by pushing up overall domestic demand, according to the BOJ’s scenario.
消費者が先行きの物価上昇を予想すれば、消費を盛んにして需要を押し上げ、成長率は高まる。

But Japanese consumers have not behaved as the BOJ expected. It has become increasingly clear that the central bank’s monetary policy is not working.
そんな日銀のシナリオ通りの消費行動は現れていない。この政策に無理があることが、次第にはっきりしてきたのではないか。

The latest economic data points to the need for both the government and the BOJ to revise their growth and inflation projections so they are more in line with the reality and then readjust their economic strategy and monetary policy accordingly.
 政府も日銀も、現実を出発点にして、想定する成長率やインフレ率を修正し、経済戦略や金融政策を組み立て直す。そんな必要があることを、今回のマイナス成長は示唆している。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2015-08-19 11:56 | 英字新聞

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