rime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to examine economic conditions “more carefully” when deciding whether to go ahead with the next scheduled consumption tax hike to 10 percent in October 2015, an economic minister said Sunday.
Abe “will, I think, examine various indicators more carefully than the time he decided to raise the rate to 8 percent,” economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari said on a TV talk show.
Amid concern that the 3 percentage-point tax increase that took effect April 1 will dent consumer sentiment and hurt economic growth, Abe shopped Saturday at a Tokyo department store to experience firsthand the effects of the tax hike and to encourage spending.
As to whether the government will compile an extra budget for fiscal 2014, which also began April 1, to help keep the economy on track after the tax hike, Amari said the economy’s resilience will need to be seen in the July-September period.
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