• ‘Abenomics’ not felt by majority in Japan

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    TOKYO: Nearly three-quarters of Japanese people are feeling no effect from “Abenomics,” a new poll has shown, despite global acclaim for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic project.

    A survey carried out over the weekend by Kyodo News showed that 73 percent of respondents do not feel they are benefiting from the policy package that has sent the yen plunging and the stock market soaring.

    Just 25 percent of respondents said that they had noticed the effects of the program, which involves stimulus spending and massive monetary easing designed to end more than 15 years of stagnation in the world’s third-largest economy.

    The figures confirm anecdotal evidence that the recovery thus far is somewhat lopsided, and is having little impact on the majority of the population, which by and large does not own stocks.

    The findings will come as a blow to Abe, who was in Davos last week at the World Economic Forum trumpeting the progress Japan’s long-underperforming economy has made on his watch.

    “Japan’s economy is just about to break free from chronic deflation,” Abe said in his keynote address.

    “This spring, wages will increase. Higher wages, long overdue, will lead to greater consumption,” he added.

    However, more than 66 percent of respondents said that they do not expect to see their pay-packet swell, against 28 percent who expected a bump, Kyodo said.

    And in more bad news, nearly 70 percent said that they are considering curbing their spending when sales tax increases in April from the current 5 percent to 8 percent.

    Two-thirds of respondents said that they are against a proposed further rise to 10 percent, which the government is considering for October 2015.

    AFP

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