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2014年4月 5日 (土)

日銀短観 消費増税の反動どう乗り切る

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 05, 2014
Press on with Abenomics to overcome adverse effects of consumption tax hike
日銀短観 消費増税の反動どう乗り切る

The national economy has been recovering steadily, but the task for the moment is to focus on how to overcome the impacts of the consumption tax hike to 8 percent.
 足もとの景気は順調に回復しているが、消費増税のショックをどう乗り切るかが問題だ。

The government and the Bank of Japan must take every possible measure to avert an economic slowdown.
 政府と日銀は景気失速の回避に、万全を期さなければならない。

The central bank’s Tankan quarterly survey for March has underscored the briskness of the national economy, but at the same time revealed the uncertainty of business prospects.
 日本経済の好調さを裏付ける一方、先行き不透明感も浮き彫りにしたのが、3月の日銀企業短期経済観測調査(短観)である。

The diffusion index (DI) for large companies’ sentiment about current business conditions, said to be a barometer for judging economic performance, rose to plus 17 for manufacturers and plus 24 for nonmanufacturers. Both marked an improvement for the fifth straight quarter and the latter represented the highest level in about 22 years. The DI represents the percentage of companies witnessing good business conditions minus that of those feeling the opposite.
 景気のバロメーターとされる大企業の業況判断指数は、製造業がプラス17、非製造業がプラス24となり、ともに5四半期連続で改善した。非製造業は約22年ぶりの高水準だった。

The last-minute surge in demand ahead of the tax increase from 5 percent and a package of economic measures centering on public works investments are believed to have contributed to improvement in the current business sentiment among large firms.
 消費税率が5%から8%に引き上げられる前の「駆け込み需要」や、公共投資を柱とした経済対策が追い風になったのだろう。

However, the DI for business sentiment looking ahead to June showed a drastic drop of about 10 points from March for both large manufacturers and nonmanufacturers. The index for small and medium-size companies is likely to fall into negative territory.
 ただし、6月の景況感を予測した指数は、製造業、非製造業とも3月から10ポイント前後の大幅な低下を示している。中小企業はマイナスに落ち込む見通しだ。

By industry type, the Tankan survey anticipates the index will decline sharply for car manufacturing and retailing, which saw a sharp rise of sales due to the last-minute demand ahead of the sales tax hike that came into effect on Tuesday.
 業種別では、駆け込み需要で販売が急増した自動車や小売りが、指数の急低下を予想している。

It is unavoidable that sales will temporarily slacken from April in a backlash after vigorous sales before the tax hike. What is important is to prevent the hike from having a serious impact.
 増税前に売れた反動で4月以降、一時的に販売不振となるのはやむを得まい。大切なのは影響を深刻化させないことである。

Avoid 1997 consequences

In 1997, when the sales tax was raised from 3 percent to 5 percent, the national economy plunged into a serious slump because it was faced with sluggish personal consumption on top of an Asian monetary crisis. It is imperative to prevent the national economy from suffering such consequences.
 消費税率が3%から5%に引き上げられた97年は、消費不振にアジア通貨危機などが重なり、深刻な不況に陥った。同じ轍(てつ)を踏んではならない。

The Abe administration needs to steadily carry out its Abenomics economic policy, thereby bringing about the maximum effects of its three arrows—bold monetary easing, flexible fiscal policy and growth strategy.
 安倍政権は経済政策「アベノミクス」を着実に推進し、大胆な金融緩和、機動的な財政政策、成長戦略の「3本の矢」の効果を最大限に発揮する必要がある。

More important than anything else is for the Japanese economy to recover self-sustainable growth, led by the private sector, and build a “fundamental economic power” that can withstand the adverse effects of a tax hike.
 日本経済が民間主導の自律的な成長を回復し、増税の悪影響に耐えられる「基礎体力」をつけることが、何より重要となる。

It is encouraging that many large firms have agreed to pay increases in this year’s annual spring negotiations with labor unions. This can be regarded as a first step toward a “virtuous circle” in which an increase in income pushes up consumption, leading to an improvement in corporate profits. The promotion of this cycle must be accelerated.
 今年の春闘で多くの大企業が賃上げに踏み切ったのは心強い。収入増が消費を押し上げ、さらに企業の利益を増やす「好循環」へ一歩を踏み出したといえる。好循環の加速が大事だ。

The government is urged to swiftly carry out dramatic deregulation measures that would stimulate the fostering of new industries, as well as drastic cuts in the corporate tax rate, which is higher than those in other major countries.
 政府は新産業の育成に弾みをつける大胆な規制緩和や、主要国の中で高い法人税率の大幅な引き下げを急いでもらいたい。

The latest Tankan survey covered firms’ price forecasts for the first time.
 今回の短観では、企業の物価見通しを初めて調査した。

They anticipate that consumer prices are likely to rise 1.5 percent on average a year from now and will be rising at a year-on-year rate of 1.7 percent three and five years from now, all less than the central bank’s targeted 2 percent year-on-year rate.
 消費者物価上昇率の見通しは、1年後が平均1・5%、3年後、5年後はともに1・7%と、日銀の目指す2%を下回った。

This indicates how difficult it will be to end deflation. The central bank should earnestly look into the viability of adopting an additional monetary easing measure, while closely watching the trends of business and prices.
 デフレ脱却への道のりが、いかに険しいかをうかがわせる。日銀は景気や物価の動向をしっかり注視し、追加金融緩和策の必要性を真剣に検討すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 4, 2014)

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