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2009年2月17日 (火)

GDP大幅減 不況脱出の処方箋を示せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 17, 2009)

Govt must present plan to end recession

GDP大幅減 不況脱出の処方箋を示せ(217日付・読売社説)

The Japanese economy appears to have strayed into a tunnel of a grueling recession the likes of which it has never experienced.

 日本経済は、これまでにない、厳しい不況のトンネルに迷い込んでしまったようだ。

The government said Monday the country's economy contracted in the October-December quarter, falling at an annualized rate of 12.7 percent from the previous quarter--the first double-digit decline in 35 years.

 昨年10~12月期の国内総生産(GDP)実質成長率は、年率換算の前期比でマイナス12・7%と、2ケタの落ち込みとなった。

The 3.3 percent decline in gross domestic product from the July-September period was second-largest drop in the postwar period after the contraction of 3.4 percent in the January-March quarter of 1974, when the country was feeling the effects the first oil crisis. With a significant contraction also likely in the January-March period, the nation's economy in fiscal 2008 is expected to post the largest negative growth in the postwar period.

 第1次石油危機時に次ぐ、戦後2番目のマイナス幅である。1~3月期も大幅に減少し、2008年度は戦後最悪のマイナス成長が見込まれる。

The Japanese economy is deteriorating at a significant and accelerating rate. The government and ruling parties must quickly present a prescription for getting the country out of this recession.

 日本経済は悪化のスピードを急速に増している。政府・与党は、不況脱出のための新たな処方箋(せん)を早急に示さねばならない。

The global recession caused Japan's engine of growth, which is fueled by overseas demand, into reverse and the country's economy is nose-diving even more steeply than those of Europe and the United States, where the current economic downturn originated.

 海外需要を原動力とする日本の成長エンジンが、世界不況のあおりで逆回転し、震源地の欧米より急降下している。

The deteriorating economies overseas slammed the brakes on the country's exports, causing production and capital investment to be scaled down. The number of jobs being lost is surging as companies are accelerating their drive to cut personnel.

 海外の景気悪化で輸出に急ブレーキがかかり、生産と設備投資が縮小した。企業は人員削減を加速させ、失業者が急増している。

===

Destructive spiral

Corporate restructuring has expanded to the ranks of regular workers, and consumption, which is the main pillar of domestic demand, has started to shrink. The economy is now in a persistent vicious circle, in which falling consumption causes a further decline in production.

 リストラの波は正社員にも広がり、内需の柱である消費がしぼみ始めた。これがさらなる生産減少を招く悪循環が止まらない。

The government has compiled economic stimulus measures three times since summer. Those center on "painkillers" amid the economic deterioration such as employment measures and support for companies trying raise capital.

 政府は昨夏から3回にわたり経済対策をまとめた。雇用や企業の資金繰り支援など、景気悪化の「痛み止め」が中心だ。

Although the economic stimulus package is sizable, totaling 75 trillion yen, so-called real water spending, or direct fiscal outlays, is about 12 trillion yen, which includes 2 trillion yen in universal flat-sum cash handouts. To put a stop to the negative cycle, in which sluggish external demand dampens domestic demand, a specific type of economic stimulus measure, in particular fiscal stimulus to make up for the lack of demand, might be necessary.

 事業規模は総額75兆円と大きいが、財政支出の真水は、定額給付金の2兆円を含めて約12兆円にとどまる。外需の不振が内需に及ぶ負の連鎖を止めるためには、財政で需要不足を補うタイプの景気対策も必要ではないか。

Despite the acute emergency, Diet deliberations on economic stimulus measures are running behind.

 緊急事態なのに、景気対策を巡る国会審議は遅れが目立つ。

===

Delay is not an option

Bills required to execute the second fiscal 2008 supplementary budget are not expected to pass the Diet until next week or even later. Deliberations on the bills must not be dragged out any further and necessary economic measures should be implemented quickly.

 08年度第2次補正予算の執行に欠かせない関連法案は、成立が来週以降になりそうだ。これ以上審議を長引かせず、対策を早く実施できるようにすべきだ。

The fiscal 2009 budget should also be passed by the Diet at an early date so that it will be implemented immediately from the start of the fiscal year.

 09年度の本予算も早期成立を図り、新年度から直ちに執行できる体制を整えたい。

It is desirable that the fiscal 2009 budget be executed earlier than originally planned. Also, it is necessary to start discussions on additional measures with the supplementary budget to ensure constant economic stimulus.

 09年度予算は当初計画より前倒しで執行するのが望ましい。さらに、切れ目なく景気を刺激するため、補正予算による追加策の検討に入る必要がある。

We hope that the valuable budget will be effectively used on growing fields in the future, including energy conservation and environmentally friendly technology, and to strengthen safety and security, including making schools and public facilities earthquake-resistant. Projects should be carefully examined to prevent nonessential items from being folded into the budget.

 貴重な予算は、省エネ・環境など将来の成長分野や、学校や公共施設の耐震化など安心・安全の強化に有効に使いたい。不要不急の事業が紛れ込まぬよう、内容を精査すべきだ。

A fall in tax revenues is certain. Therefore, it is unavoidable that economic stimulus measures will be funded by issuance of new bonds.

 税収減は確実だ。対策の財源は国債増発で賄わざるを得まい。

To prevent long-term interest rates from rising as a result of new bond issuance, the government and the Bank of Japan will need to closely coordinate, including an increase in the purchase of government bonds by the central bank.

 国債増発による長期金利の上昇を防ぐため、日銀が国債の買い入れを増やすなど、政府・日銀の連携も必要となろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 17, 2009)

20092170135  読売新聞)

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