It seems Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to postpone the consumption tax hike planned for next October and the public is all for it. But delaying the key measure to address the nation's strained budget balance would only leave an even bigger problem in the future, economists warn.

Abe had been expected to make a decision on whether to go ahead with the second stage of the tax hike to 10 percent, up from the current 8 percent, based on the July-September gross domestic product figures to be announced Monday.

But mainstream media have widely reported he is set to delay the hike, seeking to avert an expected negative impact on the economy already reeling in the first hike, from 5 percent, which came into effect last April 1.