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2009年11月18日 (水)

GDP4.8%成長―補正で民需の奮起促せ

--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 17(IHT/Asahi: November 18,2009)
EDITORIAL: GDP growth of 4.8 percent.
GDP4.8%成長―補正で民需の奮起促せ

The domestic economy grew in the July-September quarter at a much faster rate than private-sector forecasts. On an annualized basis, real gross domestic product increased by 4.8 percent, posting growth for the second consecutive quarter.
 民間の予測を大きく上回った。7~9月期の国内総生産(GDP)の実質成長率は年率換算で4.8%。前期に続くプラス成長だった。

But nominal GDP, an indicator which more accurately reflects people's sentiment about economic conditions, contracted by 0.3 percent. And the overall state of the economy is still far from what can be described as in the recovery phase.
Yet, more encouraging signs have emerged. One of them is that corporate investment in plant and equipment took an upturn in the quarter after a period of continued contraction. As a result, domestic demand contributed to economic growth. These were the first such signs of improvement in six quarters.
 生活実感に近い名目GDPは年率マイナス0.3%で、水準自体も景気回復と呼ぶにはまだ遠い現状だが、元気づけられる要素が増えた。その象徴は、縮小続きだった設備投資が拡大に転じたことだ。おかげで内需が成長に寄与するようになった。いずれも6四半期ぶりである。

Private consumption has been stimulated by a series of government stimulus measures, such as the eco-point program to promote sales of energy-saving consumer electronic appliances. Exports to China and North America are also rebounding. In response to the improved conditions, automobile, electronic and other key industries have started investing in new environment-related equipment.
 エコポイントなど、これまでの政府の景気対策で個人消費が刺激された。中国や北米などへの輸出も復調の傾向にある。これを受けて、環境関連の新設備の導入が自動車や電機といった主力産業で目立つようになった。

Coordinated economic policy efforts among major economies and Japan's own stimulus measures are finally beginning to goose demand in the private sector.
 世界的な政策協調と日本の景気対策が、ようやく民需に波及するサイクルが見えてきたといえる。

On the other hand, there are troubling signs of persistent deflationary pressure. A general decline in prices is threatening to throw the economy into a downward spiral. The deflationary trend is affecting employment and keeping the jobless rate at high levels. Winter bonuses are expected to be cut sharply, and the outlook for consumer spending offers no reason for optimism.
 半面、気になるのはデフレ傾向だ。全般的な物価下落が経済を縮小させる圧力として働き続けている。それが雇用に影を落とし、失業率が高止まりしたままの厳しい状態が続く。冬のボーナスは大幅カットが見込まれ、個人消費の動向も楽観できない。

Once the government's stimulus measures have run their course, the economy could start shrinking again, falling into a second bottom. From this point of view, the government still has a role to play in stoking economic growth.
 景気を刺激する諸施策の効果が切れれば、景気全体が再び下降し、「二番底」に陥る危険がある。この意味では、政府による景気刺激策の役割はなお終わっていない。

But the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, which has pledged to place priority on protecting living standards, should not resort to the kind of giveaway and pork-barrel spending that so often characterized past policy efforts under the government led by the Liberal Democratic Party. In particular, the Hatoyama administration must avoid trying to keep demand going with haphazard public works spending.
 だが、「生活第一」を掲げる鳩山政権は、自公政権のような「ばらまき」型の刺激策を採るべきではない。とくに、場当たり的な公共事業で需要を継ぎ足すような政策ではいけない。

The government needs to support job security and consumer spending by strengthening the social safety net while expanding private-sector demand, such as business investment, an area that is showing promising signs of recovery.
 社会的安全網の強化で雇用や消費を支えると同時に、回復の動きを見せている設備投資などの民需を喚起することが必要な局面である。

The government needs to focus on effective pump-priming measures to put the economy on a path of self-sustaining growth driven by the private sector.
 民間主導の自律的な景気拡大につなげていくための呼び水として有効な政策を、重点的に打ち出すことが求められているのだ。

From this vantage point, it is important for the Hatoyama administration to craft a second supplementary budget for the current fiscal year and the regular budget for fiscal 2010 as soon as possible to send out a clear message that it is trying to ensure sustained expansion of domestic demand.
 この意味で、鳩山政権は内需を前向きな拡大に導くメッセージ性を込めて、2次補正と来年度の本予算の姿を早く示すことが肝心だ。

Hatoyama has vowed to shift the focus of economic policy "from concrete to people." He should demonstrate his commitment to promoting the well-being of the people through the process of developing these spending plans.  鳩山由紀夫首相が「コンクリートから人へ」と目標を語ったように、ここでも「人間」重視の姿勢を生かしてほしい。

Specifically, he should announce policy incentives for private-sector investment in areas expected to create new growth industries, such as health-care services, welfare and the environment.
具体的には、新たな産業基盤として期待される医療・福祉や環境分野への民間の投資を促すような政策を打つことだ。

These areas also have a huge potential for creating new jobs. But few new businesses have emerged so far in these sectors.  これらの分野は、雇用の受け皿としても大きな可能性を秘めているが、なおビジネスが育っていない。

The government should take steps to awaken hopes among the people that fiscal and monetary policies and regulatory reform will lead to the creation of new jobs.
財政・金融政策による支援や規制改革をテコに、雇用創出が進んでいくと、国民が期待できるようにしたい。

With the second extra budget, the government should turn its economic policy in that direction and accelerate it with the state budget for next fiscal year. That will be the most effective way to revitalize the economy.
 2次補正でその流れを作り、来年度予算で加速させることが最大の景気対策になるといっても過言ではない。

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