Japan Fin Min Says Taxes Won’t Be Raised if Economy Not Growing

Finance Minister Taro Aso suggested Tuesday that the government will not go ahead with the planned sales tax hike from the current 5 percent to 8 percent in April 2014 unless Japan’s economy is on a growth path.

Legislation enacted in August 2012 says the government will not raise the consumption tax rate “if the economy is not improving,” Aso said at a press conference.

“It’s too early to decide” whether to carry out the tax hike, Aso added, emphasizing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration will make a final judgment while carefully assessing several economic data such as gross domestic product and wage growth.

The legislation stipulates as a nonbinding target for the sales tax hike that the government will seek to accomplish nominal economic growth of around 3 percent and real growth of about 2 percent.

Japan’s economy expanded at an annualized rate of 4.1 percent in the first three months of 2013 in inflation-adjusted terms, marking the second straight quarter of growth.

via Mainichi

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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