The value of government bonds issued to cover the fiscal 2006 budget deficit is expected to hit 45.5 trillion yen, 25 percent higher than the planned issuance for the 2003 budget, according to a report released Wednesday by the Finance Ministry.

The bleak estimate — based on the assumption that there will be zero nominal growth for the next four years — is worse than the downwardly revised economic outlook released last month by the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, which is chaired by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

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