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2014年7月 4日 (金)

日銀短観悪化 増税ショックを軽視するな

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Govt should not underestimate impact of consumption tax hike
日銀短観悪化 増税ショックを軽視するな

The findings of the latest business survey suggest that we should keep a cautious and close watch on economic prospects in the days ahead.
 景気の先行きを、引き続き注意深く見極める必要があろう。

The Bank of Japan’s Tankan quarterly survey for June showed that business sentiment among both large manufacturers and nonmanufacturers deteriorated for the first time in six quarters. The diffusion index for large manufacturers’ current business confidence stood at plus 12, and that of large nonmanufacturers at plus 19, both down from the previous survey in March.
 6月の日銀企業短期経済観測調査(短観)で、景況感を示す業況判断指数は、前回3月調査に比べて悪化し、大企業の製造業が12、非製造業は19となった。どちらも、6四半期ぶりの悪化である。

Business sentiment deteriorated particularly among automakers and retailers, the sectors hit hard by a drop in demand after the last-minute surge prior to April’s consumption tax rate hike.
 4月の消費税率引き上げ前の駆け込み需要と、増税後の反動減で大きな影響を受けた自動車や小売りなどで低下が目立った。

The leading index reflecting business outlook toward September among large manufacturers came to plus 15, a modest three-point improvement over the June outlook, while the same leading sentiment index among nonmanufacturers remained flat.
 9月時点の景気を予想する先行きの指数は、大企業の製造業が6月から3ポイントと小幅に改善し、非製造業は横ばいとなった。

Finance Minister Taro Aso said the nation’s economy “continues to be in a moderate trend of recovery, while keeping the impact of the consumption tax hike to a minimum,” showing the government’s confidence that the economy will weather the tax hike’s effects.
 麻生財務相が「消費増税の影響を最小限に食い止めて、そこそこ緩やかに回復基調が続いている」と述べるなど、政府は増税ショックの乗り切りに自信を見せる。

However, the momentum of the recovery is not so strong that we can allow our guard to fall.
 だが、回復の勢いはさほど強くない。油断は禁物だろう。

Worrisome economic indicators have also emerged, including a marked decline in household consumption. The key to pushing consumption upward is an increase in household income.
 家計消費の大幅な減少など、心配な経済指標も出てきた。消費復活のカギは収入の増加である。

Partly due the urging of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, the pace of wage hikes, negotiated through annual labor-management talks, rose to around 2 percent, which has been a boon for Japanese households.
 安倍政権の要請もあり、大企業の春闘賃上げ率が2%台に乗せたのは好材料と言える。

The consumption tax hike has been passed on to consumers through the prices of goods and services since April, and as a result, prices have risen by around 3 percent. The reality is that the wage hike has not kept pace with the price increase.
ただ、4月から消費税が価格に上乗せされ、消費者物価の上昇率は3%台に跳ね上がった。賃上げが物価上昇に追いついていないのが実情だ。

Wages must grow

The government needs to use policy measures to support the momentum toward an “economy in a virtuous cycle,” in which companies with strong business performance give part of their profits back to employees in the form of wage hikes and increased bonuses, helping to drive overall consumption.
 好業績の企業が賃金やボーナスで従業員に利益を還元し、それが消費を押し上げる「好循環経済」に向けた動きを、政策で後押しすることが求められる。

The government must steadily implement measures included in the new growth strategy recently adopted by the Cabinet, including a reduction in the effective corporate tax rate and regulatory reforms.
 政府は、新たな成長戦略に盛り込んだ法人税実効税率の引き下げや規制改革などの施策を、着実に実行しなければならない。

One cause of concern is the increasingly serious labor scarcity in the construction, restaurant and other industries, forcing construction firms to stop accepting new orders and chain restaurants to temporarily close outlets, among other adverse effects. As reality stands now, this development may put a damper on the recovering economy.
 気がかりなのが、建設や外食などの業種で人手不足が深刻化していることだ。受注見送りや店舗休業などの弊害も広がっている。このままでは、景気回復に水を差す恐れがある。

We should also expedite other efforts such as eliminating the labor market “mismatch,” in which the needs and desires of businesses seeking manpower fail to match those of people looking for jobs.
 人材を求める企業と、職を探す人の希望がすれ違う「雇用のミスマッチ」の解消を急ぎたい。

Labor scarcity is bound to spread through a wide range of sectors of the Japanese economy, parallel to the declining population.
 人口減少に伴い、労働力不足は幅広い業種に広がろう。

The public and private sectors should cooperate on earnest efforts to secure a sufficient labor pool over the medium and long term, for instance by better incorporating more women, elderly people and foreigners into the workforce.
官民が連携し、女性や高齢者、外国人の活用などによる中長期的な労働力の確保策に本腰を入れるべきだ。

In order to steer a private-sector-led economic recovery on a steady track, it is also essential for businesses to make full-fledged investments in plants and capital equipment. We would urge businesses to invest proactively in growing sectors, taking advantage of such measures as the law concerning the strengthening of industrial competitiveness.
 民間主導の成長を軌道に乗せるには、設備投資の本格化も不可欠だ。各企業は産業競争力強化法などの施策も活用し、成長分野への新規投資を積極化してほしい。

The steady resumption of operations at nuclear power plants whose safety has been confirmed, and restoring a secure and stable supply of electricity are essential conditions to establish a firm foundation for sustainable economic growth.
 安全性の確認できた原子力発電所を着実に再稼働し、電力の安定供給を回復することは、持続的な経済成長の基盤を作るために必要な条件である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 3, 2014)

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