Japan gov't upgrades GDP growth forecast to 3.2 pct in fiscal 2022

2021-12-23 12:20

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TOKYO, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Japan on Thursday upgraded its growth forecast for its economy in fiscal 2022 to a real 3.2 percent from the previously estimated 2.2 percent, expecting the pace of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to speed up after a weaker-than-anticipated increase in the current year.

As repeated resurgences of COVID-19 infections in the country prolonged economic fallout from the pandemic, the government reduced the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate projection for the current fiscal year (April 1, 2021-March 31, 2022) from 3.7 percent to 2.6 percent.

The government had initially expected Japan's GDP to return to its pre-pandemic level in the October-December period of 2019 within this year, but the goal would likely be pushed back to March 2022, a government official said.

According to the official, the size of GDP in real terms in fiscal 2022 is expected to hit a record 556.8 trillion yen (4.88 trillion U.S. dollars), exceeding the previous high of 554.3 trillion yen (4.86 trillion dollars) in fiscal 2018.

Moreover, Japan's total value of goods and services produced in nominal terms, unadjusted for inflation, will likely rise 3.6 percent in fiscal 2022 compared to an earlier projection of 2.5 percent.

The estimation of private consumption, which accounts for more than half of the Japanese economy, stayed unchanged at an increase of 4.0 percent in the next fiscal year.

Capital expenditure is expected to rise a real 5.1 percent, higher than the July forecast of a 4.2-percent expansion.

Exports in fiscal 2022 are estimated to grow 5.5 percent, following expected growth of 11.4 percent in fiscal 2021, benefiting from the global economic recovery.

The projected GDP growth will be used as the basis for the government's tax revenue estimates as it draws up the draft budget for fiscal 2022 starting April, which Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet will approve on Friday.

The initial budget is expected to total around 107.6 trillion yen (950 billion U.S. dollars), a record high for the 10th consecutive year, local media reported.
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