PM Abe Still Neutral on Second Round of Sales Tax Hike

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday he remained “neutral” on whether to proceed with a hike in Japan’s sales tax to 10 percent, adding that decision would hinge on the strength of economic indicators for the current quarter.

“The economy is a living thing and we are thinking about this in a neutral way,” Abe told public broadcaster NHK.

Abe has to decide by the end of the year whether to proceed with a previously approved plan to raise the consumption tax to 10 percent from 8 percent in 2015 after a hike from 5 percent in April sent consumption into a sharp contraction.

Abe said in an NHK interview he wanted to see how the economy performs in the July to September quarter after GDP contracted by 7.1 percent in the April to June quarter as a result of the previous tax increase.
“We would like to get economic indicators from the quarter and hear the views of economists. As part of that process, we will decide whether to proceed with the tax hike as now set by law or whether to wait. That’s the discussion we need to have,” Abe said.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza