With 25 years of sluggish economic growth, Japan’s per capita income has fallen from a level matching the average of the top half of OECD countries in the early 1990s to 14% below that today. Weak growth, together with rapid population ageing, has driven public debt into uncharted territory. Revitalising growth is thus the top priority for the Japanese government. With the labour force shrinking more rapidly than the population, per capita output can only grow through improvements in labour productivity and labour force participation. Japan’s highly-skilled labour force and its technological leadership can help close the gap with leading OECD countries in per capita income. But broad-based structural reforms, as envisaged in the third arrow of Abenomics, are needed to allow these strengths to fully achieve their potential. The initial impact of Abenomics in 2013 was impressive, and the reform process needs to continue.
The 2015 edition of National Accounts of OECD Countries, General Government Accounts is an annual publication, dedicated to government finance which is based on the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA 2008) for all countries except Chile, Japan, Korea and Turkey (SNA 1993). It includes tables showing government aggregates and balances for the production, income and financial accounts as well as detailed tax and social contribution receipts and a breakdown of expenditure of general government by function, according to the harmonised international classification, COFOG. These detailed accounts are available for the general government sector. Data also cover the following sub-sectors, according to availability: central government, state government, local government and social security funds.
The data in this publication are also available on line via www.oecd-ilibrary.org under the title OECD National Accounts Statistics, General Government Accounts (http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/na-gga-data-en and http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/na-gga08-data-en).
Achieving strong growth in the global economy remains elusive, with only a modest recovery in advanced economies and slower activity in emerging markets, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Outlook.
With gross government debt of 226% of GDP, Japan’s fiscal situation is in uncharted territory and puts the economy at risk. Japan needs a detailed and credible fiscal consolidation plan, including specific revenue increases and measures to control spending to restore its fiscal sustainability.
Innovation is key to boosting economic growth in the face of a rapidly ageing population. While Japan spends heavily on education and R&D, appropriate framework conditions are essential to increase the return on such investments by strengthening competition, both domestic and international, and improving resource allocation.
Gross government debt has risen to 226% of GDP. Rapid population ageing is putting continued pressure on public spending, while pushing down Japan’s potential growth rate to around ¾ per cent. Bold reforms are needed to revitalise the economy.
The Japanese economy is on a path to stronger growth, but fundamental structural reforms are urgently needed to promote a more robust recovery, address high levels of government debt and reverse a trend toward declining living standards, according to the latest OECD Economic Survey of Japan.
Low oil prices and monetary easing are boosting growth in the world’s major economies, but the near-term pace of expansion remains modest, withabnormally low inflation and interest rates pointing to risks of financial instability, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Assessment.
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This country note from Going for Growth 2015 for Japan identifies and assesses progress made on key reforms to boost long-term growth, improve competitiveness and productivity and create jobs.
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The global economy continues to run at low speed and many countries, particularly in Europe, seem unable to overcome the legacies of the crisis. With high unemployment, high inequality and low trust still weighing heavily, it is imperative to swiftly implement reforms that boost demand and employment and raise potential growth.