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2013年12月 7日 (土)

経済対策5兆円 消費増税後の景気失速を防げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 7, 2013
Govt must take steps to prevent slowdown after tax hike in April
経済対策5兆円 消費増税後の景気失速を防げ(12月6日付・読売社説)

The government must take every step it can regarding economic management to prevent the national economy from losing steam due to the consumption tax increase set for April.
 来年4月の消費増税で景気が失速しないよう、政府は経済運営に万全を期さねばならない。

The government has decided on a package of economic measures in preparation for the tax hike from 5 percent to 8 percent, calling for fiscal spending of about ¥5.5 trillion. If expenditures by local governments and other entities are included, spending will amount to ¥18.6 trillion.
 消費税率5%から8%への引き上げをにらんだ政府の経済対策が決まった。国の歳出は約5・5兆円で、地方自治体などの支出と合わせた事業規模は18・6兆円に上る。

Backed by tailwinds from the Abenomics economic policy promoted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration and the weaker yen, the national economy has been picking up but has not yet achieved strong growth led by the private sector. The nation’s exit from deflation is still ongoing as well.
 安倍政権の経済政策「アベノミクス」や円安を追い風に、景気は上向いているが、民間主導の力強い成長には至っていない。デフレからの脱却も道半ばだ。

A last-minute surge in demand for durable consumer goods is anticipated ahead of the tax hike, but consumption and investment are expected to turn sluggish in reaction to the tax raise.
 増税前は耐久消費財などの駆け込み需要が見込まれるものの、増税後はその反動などで消費や投資が低迷するとみられる。

According to projections by private institutions, annualized growth in the gross domestic product for the April-June quarter of 2014 is widely anticipated to drop by five percentage points from the previous quarter. It is proper that the government will take steps to prevent the economy from slowing down.
 民間の予測では、2014年4~6月期の実質国内総生産(GDP)成長率は、年率換算で前期比マイナス5%程度に落ち込むとの見方が多い。
 景気腰折れを防ぐため、経済対策を打つのは適切と言える。

One of the core measures is to utilize corporate vigor.
 対策の柱の一つは、企業の活力を引き出す取り組みである。

The special corporate tax for reconstruction will be abolished at the end of fiscal 2013, one year ahead of schedule, to reduce the corporate tax burden by about ¥800 billion, and the financing system to support the operation of small and midsize companies will be expanded. The government will support businesses, as it expects them to be a driving force behind growth.
 復興特別法人税を1年前倒しで13年度末に廃止し、企業の税負担を8000億円規模で軽減する。中小企業の資金繰りを支援する融資制度も拡充する。政府が企業を支援するのは、成長のけん引役として期待しているからだろう。

Companies have roles to play

For their part, companies are urged to actively expand investment and projects. It is hoped that their improved profits will be used to raise wages and expand employment, spreading the benefits to household finances.
 企業は、積極的な投資や事業展開を図ってほしい。収益向上を賃上げや雇用拡大につなげ、家計へ波及させることが望まれる。

The second pillar of the economic measures is implementation of public works projects. The projects will center on safety and anti-disaster measures such as strengthening school buildings’ earthquake resistance and renewal of superannuated roads and bridges.
 対策の2本目の柱は、公共事業である。学校の耐震化や老朽化した道路、橋の更新など防災と安全対策が中心になる。

However, it is worrying that many tenders on public works projects have recently ended unsuccessfully due to a labor shortage and surges in material prices. Smooth implementation of the projects is needed to ensure stimulus measures are effective. It is also indispensable to closely scrutinize the projects to determine which are nonessential and which are nonurgent.
 ただ、最近、人手不足や資材価格の高騰で公共事業の入札が不調となる事例も目立つ。景気刺激を効果あるものにするには、事業の円滑な執行が求められる。不要不急の事業の精査も不可欠だ。

Enhancing the policy to sustain personal consumption will also be necessary to ease the adverse effects of the tax increase. This is because the planned cash handouts to low-income earners, which have been incorporated in the government’s economic steps, are expected to have only a limited effect.
 増税の悪影響を和らげるには、個人消費を下支えする政策の充実も必要ではないか。
 低所得者への給付措置などが盛り込まれたが、一時的な支給の効果は限定的とみられるからだ。

It would be more beneficial to adopt reduced tax rates for such items as food so that benefits can be offered to a wider range of consumers in a lasting manner.
 食料品などの税率を低く抑える軽減税率を採用し、より幅広い消費者に恒久的に恩恵が行き渡るようにする方が有益だったろう。

If the consumption tax is to be raised further to 10 percent in October 2015 as scheduled, it will be indispensable to adopt reduced tax rates. The ruling parties need to decide on the introduction as early as possible.
 予定通り15年10月に消費税率を10%へ引き上げる場合には、軽減税率が欠かせない。与党は早急に導入を決断する必要がある。

To put the economy on a path to full-scale recovery, it is essential to steadily realize a growth strategy in addition to the economic measures. Deregulation and other reform measures that would lead to expanding new business opportunities must be carried out urgently.
 景気の本格回復には、経済対策に加え、成長戦略を着実に実現することが大切となる。新たなビジネス機会の拡大に結びつく規制改革などを急ぐべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 6, 2013)
(2013年12月6日01時26分  読売新聞)

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