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Japan's Abe signals readiness to offer fiscal stimulus
[TOKYO] Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday he was ready to respond flexibly to any downturns in the economy with additional policy measures, including further fiscal stimulus.
He also stressed that achieving strong economic growth would remain the top priority for his administration, even as it tackles longer-term challenges for Japan, such as a rapidly ageing population and a dwinding workforce. "Japan's economy is showing some wekanesses but remains on a recovery trend ... The economy will remain our top priority,"Abe told a news conference. "We're not considering compiling an extra budget to fund a stimulus package now. But we're monitoring economic developments carefully and stand ready to guide economic and fiscal policy flexibly." Abe's key cabinet ministers, including Finance Minister Taro Aso, have ruled out another fiscal stimulus package to support a fragile economic recovery.
But many analysts expect the government to offer additional fiscal stimulus to spur growth and help the ruling party win votes ahead of next year's upper house elections.