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2013年7月 4日 (木)

日銀短観プラス 企業心理好転を成長の弾みに

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 3, 2013
The favorable turn in corporate investment must lead to growth
日銀短観プラス 企業心理好転を成長の弾みに(7月2日付・読売社説)

Corporate business sentiment has obviously been picking up.

How can the private sector be invigorated to bring about a full-fledged business recovery? The government’s growth strategy is being put to the test in this regard.

According to the Bank of Japan’s short-term Tankan survey of corporate sentiment in June, the diffusion index for large manufacturers improved to plus 4, a huge improvement from minus 8 in the March survey, marking the first time in one year and nine months that the index has turned positive.

The index, which is calculated by subtracting the percentage of firms with a negative outlook from that of those with positive expectations, rose by six points to stand at plus 12 for major nonmanufacturers--recording a high figure for the first time in five years.

Exports have been recovering since the yen’s super-high strength was corrected. Business sentiment has improved across a wide range of industrial sectors as public investments envisioned in the government’s emergency economic package were received favorably.

2 arrows on target

It may be said that drastic monetary easing and flexible fiscal management, which are two of the “three arrows” of the Abenomics economic policies pursued by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, have brought about successful results.

Next, to turn the favorable corporate sentiment into growth led by the private sector, it will be essential to steadily carry out a growth strategy, the third arrow of Abenomics.

According to the Tankan report, plant and equipment investments planned by major enterprises for the current fiscal year jumped 2 percent over the previous fiscal year. It is encouraging that a corporate desire to expand investment has emerged.

The government’s growth strategy calls for boosting the private sector’s annual capital investment from 63 trillion yen to 70 trillion yen in three years.

It will be important for the government to add assistance measures to promote replacement of superannuated facilities and stimulate corporate willingness to expand new business projects. The government plans to put forth a second package of growth strategy measures as early as autumn, highlighting tax incentives for investment. This could be a reasonable response.

Lower corporate tax rate

It is important for the government to implement effective measures on a priority basis to live up to the expectations of the private sector.

Serious consideration must be given to lowering the corporation tax rate, which is higher than those in other major countries.

Cutting the tax rate would not only reduce the tax burdens on domestic companies but also encourage more foreign companies to set up operations in Japan, thereby bolstering the foundation for national economic growth.

It is worrying that the recovery of business sentiment among small and midsize companies lags that for major firms. These companies sustain the Japanese economy, as they employ 70 percent of the nation’s salaried workers.

Efforts must be made to realize a virtuous circle in which small and midsize firms will be invigorated, boosting employment and income and further enhancing corporate perfomance.

Not a few midsize and small companies have settled for the status of subcontractors despite their possession of high technology, thereby missing a chance for business expansion.

We urge the government to steadily implement measures to support effective reform of their management.

A big challenge ahead will be to boost the national economy as a whole by achieving economic recovery not only in major urban districts but also in regional areas.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 2, 2013)
(2013年7月2日01時26分  読売新聞)


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