Japan’s Abe instructs cabinet to compile economic package

08 Nov 2019 / 11:07 H.

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday instructed his cabinet to compile a package of stimulus measures to support the economy and build infrastructure to cope with huge natural disasters, the government’s top spokesman said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the package will include steps to promote investment for growth through aggressive use of fiscal investment and loan programmes.

The government will compile the package as soon as possible, though the size of spending will depend on proposals to be made by various ministries, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told a news conference after a regular cabinet meeting.

“I’ve received an instruction from the prime minister to compile a new economic package to guard against the chance overseas risks may hurt Japan’s economy,“ Nishimura said.

Japanese policymakers have been under pressure to fend off heightening overseas risks with a diminishing tool-kit, as the U.S.-China trade war and soft global demand hurt the export-reliant economy.

An increase in the sales tax to 10% from 8%, put in place from October, may also hurt consumption, analysts say.

Abe had told a top economic council on Thursday that the government will consider what policy measures it can take to prevent intensifying global risks from derailing the export-reliant economic recovery.

Japan’s economic growth likely slowed to an annualised 0.8% in July-September from 1.3% in the second quarter, a Reuters poll showed this week. The data will be reported on Nov. 14. - Reuters

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