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2012年7月30日 (月)

米GDP低迷 景気失速を防ぐテコ入れ策を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 30, 2012)
U.S. needs to act quickly to stop economy from stalling
米GDP低迷 景気失速を防ぐテコ入れ策を(7月29日付・読売社説)

The slowdown of the U.S. economy is becoming more apparent. The U.S. government will need to take more drastic economic stimulus measures.
 米国経済の減速が、一段と鮮明になってきた。思い切った景気テコ入れ策が求められよう。

Washington has announced in a preliminary report that U.S. real gross domestic product from April through June rose by an annualized 1.5 percent compared to the previous quarter. This was the first time in three quarters that the growth rate had dipped under 2 percent.
 米国政府が発表した2012年4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)の速報値は、前期比年率で1・5%増にとどまった。1%台の低成長は、3四半期ぶりである。

The weak economic growth can be attributed to dull capital investment by companies and a sluggish increase in consumer spending, compounded by the deteriorating employment market, where the jobless rate has been stuck above 8 percent. A resurgence of the European financial crisis has also adversely affected economic growth in the United States.
 失業率が8%台に高止まりするなど雇用悪化に伴って、個人消費が伸び悩み、企業の設備投資が低調だったことが主因だ。欧州債務危機の再燃にも影響を受けた。

The U.S. economy seemed to have shifted onto a recovery track at the end of last year, but its momentum did not last long.
 米国経済は昨年末、いったん景気回復の軌道に乗ったように見えたが、勢いは続かなかった。

Some observers predict the U.S. economy will remain at a standstill and slow further from the latter half of this year through next year.
 米国景気の足踏みは続き、今年後半から来年にかけ、さらに減速するという観測も出ている。

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'Fiscal cliff' looms

German and French leaders have agreed to use every possible means to deal with the deterioration of Spain's financial stability, but precisely what this will entail is still unclear. The slump of the U.S. and European economies is a destabilizing factor for the global economy.
 スペインの財政不安拡大に対し、独仏首脳が「あらゆる措置を取る」ことで合意したが、先行きは不透明だ。欧米経済の不振は、世界経済の波乱要素と言える。

The problem is that financial and monetary policies implemented by the United States to support its economy seem to have hit a brick wall.
 問題は、景気を下支えする米国の財政・金融政策に手詰まり感があることだ。

Large-scale tax breaks such as income tax cuts implemented by former U.S. President George W. Bush since 2001 will expire at the end of this year. Furthermore, based on an agreement between the ruling and opposition parties aimed at fiscal rehabilitation, a measure to automatically trigger a reduction of federal expenditures is scheduled to start next year.
 ブッシュ前大統領が01年以降に実施した所得税減税などの大型減税措置は今年末に失効する。財政再建を目指す与野党合意により、来年から政府歳出の強制削減措置も発動される予定だ。

This combination of effective tax hikes as a result of the end of Bush-era tax cuts and slashing federal spending has been dubbed "the fiscal cliff."
 ブッシュ減税失効による事実上の増税と、巨額の歳出カットは、「財政の崖」と呼ばれる。

Excessive fiscal austerity would be like tumbling down the cliff and batter the economy. We think U.S. President Barack Obama's attempt to alleviate its impact by proposing a plan to extend expiring tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners is reasonable.
 崖から転落するような超緊縮財政は景気にマイナスだ。ショックを和らげようと、オバマ大統領が中低所得層向けの減税延長を提案したのはもっともである。

However, the opposition Republican Party, which has cranked up its adversarial stand against Obama as the November presidential election nears, does not seem willing to make any concession. It demands an across-the-board extension of the tax cuts for all Americans, including the wealthy. This issue looks likely to be settled after the election.
 しかし、11月の大統領選に向けて対決色を強める野党共和党は富裕層を含めた減税延長を求め、歩み寄りはうかがえない。決着は選挙後に持ち越されそうだ。

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Additional measures

With Washington unable to hammer out adequate financial measures anytime soon, expectations will rise that monetary policies will have some effect--for a while--in supporting the economy.
 適切な財政政策をすぐに打ち出せない以上、当面は、金融政策の下支え効果に期待が高まろう。

At the end of June, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board extended monetary easing measures for six months, which aim to drive long-term interest rates lower by buying more long-term government bonds to increase the percentage that it owns. However, the Fed postponed the third round of bond purchases known as QE3 (quantitative easing), which had been attracting the attention of the markets.
 米連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)は6月末、長期国債の保有比率を高めて長期金利の低下を促す金融緩和策を半年延長した。だが、市場の焦点だった量的緩和策の第3弾(QE3)は見送った。

The Fed should not hesitate to launch QE3 and other additional measures if the employment situation continues to worsen and the markets fall into a panic if the European financial crisis expands.
 雇用情勢の悪化が止まらず、欧州危機拡大で市場が混乱する場合には、QE3を含め、追加策をためらうべきではあるまい。

However, any additional measures by the Fed likely will boost the historic appreciation of the yen against the U.S. dollar and the euro, and have a serious negative impact on Japan's economy.
 ただ、FRBの追加策は、ドルやユーロに対する歴史的な超円高を加速させ、日本の景気に深刻な影響を与える可能性がある。

We hope the government and the Bank of Japan will be extremely watchful of the situation and consider the possibility of intervening in the markets to prevent the yen from soaring even higher, as well as taking other monetary easing measures.
政府・日銀は警戒を強め、円高阻止の為替介入や、一段の金融緩和策を検討してもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 29, 2012)
(2012年7月29日02時25分  読売新聞)

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