Business

Government still upbeat about economy: Takenaka

Economic and fiscal policy minister Heizo Takenaka indicated Friday that the government will maintain its upbeat assessment of the economy in its monthly report for June, due out next week.

“Basically, the economy continues recovering steadily,” Takenaka told a news conference, referring to April’s surge in manufacturers’ machinery orders.

“The manufacturing sector has witnessed a 30 percent month-on-month rise in its machinery orders, the highest-ever figure since the government began compiling relevant statistics.”

In its May report, the government stated that the economy “continues recovering steadily with improvement in the corporate sector spreading.” It used the phase “recovering steadily” for the fifth straight month.

Takenaka also noted that a year-on-year growth in Japan’s key money supply index — total cash in circulation, demand deposits, time deposits and certificates of deposit — returned to the 2 percent level in May from the 1 percent range, where it had been during the preceding eight months.

The gauge last posted growth in the 2 percent range in August 2003, when it stood at 2 percent.

Takenaka commended Bank of Japan Gov. Toshihiko Fukui for expressing readiness to consider the introduction of an “inflation reference number” — an inflation rate the central bank considers desirable — as a possible monetary policy option in the future.

“It’s been discussed at the Bank of Japan as one of the measures to fulfill its accountability, including a road map to overcome deflation. I want the central bank to discuss the proposal in depth independently from the government,” he said.

Takenaka doubles as financial services minister.

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