Japan govt drops timeframe for budget balancing target

kitco.com -- May 31
Japan's government made no mention of a timeframe for balancing the primary budget in its draft mid-year annual long-term economic policy roadmap, two government sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The government has previously pledged to achieve a primary budget surplus, which excludes new bond sales and debt servicing costs, by the end of fiscal 2025, which was seen as an elusive target given the state of Japan's public finances.

The budget balancing target has served as a key gauge for the government to finance policy expenditures without relying on debt -- as part of efforts to rein in the industrial world's heaviest public debt at twice the size of Japan's economy.

The absence of the target year in the mid-year policy roadmap could raise questions about Japan's resolve to fix its tattered public finances.

"This means the government may deliver a message that it will prioritise growth and growth-oriented investment," said Daiju Aoki, chief Japan economist at UBS Sumi Trust Wealth Management. "That would boost fiscal spending in the name of growth investment near term." ...continue reading

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