日本经济负增长 安倍拟推迟增税
日期:2014-11-19 13:58


TOKYO — Japan’s economy unexpectedly shrank in the third quarter, according to government data released there on Monday, extending a painful slump triggered by an increase in the national sales tax and making it more likely that policy makers will put off a second tax hike scheduled to take effect next year.
The two-stage tax increase has become an all-consuming political issue in Japan, to the point that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering dissolving Parliament and calling fresh elections, people close to him say. Monday’s economic report is seen as critical to Mr. Abe’s decision, which is widely expected to come this week.

分两阶段实施的增税计划已经成为日本最紧迫的政治议题,以至于接近日本首相安倍晋三(Shinzo Abe)的人说,他正在考虑解散国会,并重新举行选举。外界认为,周一公布的经济数据对安倍晋三预计将于本周做出的决定至关重要。
The preliminary report, issued by the Cabinet Office, showed that gross domestic product fell at an annual pace of 1.6 percent in the quarter through September. That added to the previous quarter’s much larger decline, which the government now puts at 7.3 percent, revised downward from 7.1 percent in its last report.
日本内阁府(Cabinet Office)的初步数据显示,在截至9月底的季度里,GDP同比下降了1.6%。而上季度的降幅比这还要大得多——政府目前的估值为7.3%,较此前估计的7.1%作出了向下的修正。
The third-quarter G.D.P. figure confounded analyst forecasts, which were mostly more optimistic. Economists surveyed by news agencies and think tanks had been forecasting annual growth of slightly more than 2 percent on average. Mr. Abe has not said how much the economy would have needed to grow to give him the confidence to raise taxes again, but one of his economic advisers, Etsuro Honda, has argued that the minimum number needed to be close to 4 percent — higher even than the forecasts and far better than the surprising negative result.
三季度的GDP数据推翻了分析师的预测,这些预测普遍要更为乐观。新闻机构和智库调查的经济学家预计,日本经济年度增幅的平均值将略高于2%。安倍没有表示过经济增速需要达到何种水平才有信心再次增税,但他的经济顾问之一本田悦朗(Etsuro Honda)称,这个数字至少需要接近4%——比预测数字还高,这与目前令人意外的负增长相比,更是天壤之别。
Although the next tax increase would not come into effect until October, Mr. Abe needs to decide what to do about it soon, to give Parliament time to change the relevant legislation if he opts to cancel or postpone it. If fully implemented, the plan would double the tax on all goods and services sold in the country, to 10 percent, over 18 months. It now stands at 8 percent after the first stage went ahead in April.
The increases are aimed at curbing Japan’s massive government debt, which at about two and a half years’ national economic output is the largest in the developed world. But there are concerns that after years of sluggish wage growth, consumer confidence is still too weak handle them. Instead of solving the debt problem, heavier taxes could simply push the economy back into a downward slide.
Mr. Abe has been trying to end Japan’s long era of deflation through an unprecedented campaign of economic stimulus. The effort, known as Abenomics, has dealt with setbacks in recent months. After the unexpectedly severe slowdown in the second quarter, institutions ranging from the International Monetary Fund to the Bank of Japan have cut their estimates for economic growth this year and next. The central bank, its goal of reaching 2 percent stable inflation looking increasingly out of reach, was prompted late last month to expand a stimulus program involving massive purchases of government bonds.
安倍晋三一直设法通过一个前所未有的经济刺激行动,来终结日本长期存在的通缩状况。这项被称作“安倍经济学”的行动最近几个月遭遇了一些挫折。在二季度出人意料的严重下滑之后,国际货币基金组织(International Monetary Fund)和日本银行(Bank of Japan)等机构纷纷下调了对日本经济今年和明年的预期。其央行日本银行距离让通胀率保持在2%的目标似乎越来越遥远,上个月末,该机构不得不扩大了一个大规模购买政府债券的刺激计划。
Abenomics is now in a particularly delicate phase. Consumer prices are rising, if not yet as strongly as hoped, as are corporate profits and the value of assets like stocks and property. But so far not much of the new wealth has reached average workers. Incomes have fallen behind the rising cost of living, in effect making people poorer. Another of Mr. Abe’s advisers, Kozo Yamamoto, a lawmaker in his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, says the second tax rise needs to be put off “until wages catch up” to prices.
安倍经济学目前处于一个特别棘手的阶段。物价在上涨,虽然可能没有期望的那么强劲,企业利润以及股票和房地产价格也在上涨。但到现在为止,并没有很多新财富流入普通工薪阶层手中。收入水平已经落后于生活成本的不断增长,人们实际上正在变得更加贫穷。安倍领导的执政党自民党(Liberal Democratic Party)议员、他的另一位顾问山本幸三(Kozo Yamamoto)说,第二次增税的举措需要推迟,“除非工资水平追上”物价。
Monday’s data showed surprising weakness across most areas of the economy. Consumer spending barely picked up from its depressed level after the tax increase in April, while indicators of housing and business investment declined.
Mr. Abe does not need to call an election to modify the tax plan, since his party is in firm control of both houses of the national legislature, the Diet. Even the existing tax legislation gives him some scope for review if he judges that the economy is struggling, and with a parliamentary majority the L.D.P. and its smaller coalition partner, New Komeito, could rewrite the law as they wanted.
由于安倍晋三的政党牢牢控制着国会两院,他不需要重新选举就能够修改税收方案。现行税法给他留出了余地,如果他判定日本经济仍举步维艰,可以进行一些更改。此外,凭借着在国会的多数席位,自民党及其规模较小的执政伙伴公明党(New Komeito)也可以按自己的想法修正这部法律。
Parliament’s current term lasts until mid-2016, making any election a year and a half sooner than legally necessary. Some political commentators have suggested the tax issue is merely a convenient pretext for Mr. Abe to seek a fresh term while he has political advantage on his side. Opposition parties are weak and disorganized, and although his once-sky-high poll ratings have slipped he remains relatively popular, with public support of around 50 percent.
A majority of voters say they would like to see the tax hike scrapped, and the conventional wisdom is that the L.D.P. would easily win a snap election, particularly if its campaign were based on changing course on the tax.

  • stableadj. 稳定的,安定的,可靠的 n. 马厩,马棚,一批
  • massiveadj. 巨大的,大规模的,大量的,大范围的
  • legislaturen. 立法机关
  • corporateadj. 社团的,法人的,共同的,全体的
  • unprecedentedadj. 空前的,前所未有的
  • issuen. 发行物,期刊号,争论点 vi. & vt 发行,流
  • polln. 投票,民意测验,民意,票数 v. 做民意测验,获得
  • handlen. 柄,把手 v. 买卖,处理,操作,驾驭
  • monetaryadj. 货币的,金融的
  • partnern. 搭档,伙伴,合伙人 v. 同 ... 合作,做 .