The government has sworn that it will act quickly, with steps that could include compiling stimulus measures, if the domestic economy displays signs of a slowdown following the recent consumption tax hike.
At a meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, directed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, participants reviewed economic trends both at home and abroad since the increase in the consumption tax rate from 8 percent to 10 percent on Oct. 1.
“It’s crucial for us to act without delay while carefully examining macroeconomic conditions,” Abe stated, calling on members of the panel to pay close attention to downside dangers in overseas economies and a potential drop in domestic demand after the hike.
“If downside risks become apparent, we should implement full-fledged measures in a well-timed manner without hesitation in order to guarantee that Japan’s economy is firmly on a growth track,” Abe said.
Private-sector members of the council stated that there were concerns over a slowdown in trade and business investment across the globe. They also insisted on the government to keep a close eye on consumption trends and the number of tourists visiting Japan from overseas.
They stressed the importance of making efforts to maintain the virtuous economic cycle after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The private-sector members also called on the government to gather as soon as possible details — including the scale — of an envisioned policy in which local governments will give points to holders of My Number identification cards from the summer of 2020, when a state-managed point reward program began this month to ease the pain of the consumption tax hike is scheduled to end.