government could decide the details as soon as next month as it
finalizes the policies for its annual growth strategy, which
could potentially help the Bank of Japan in its struggle to
Authorities will also take steps to increase inbound tourism,
raise the national minimum wage and encourage more IT
investment, according to a draft approved on Monday by the
government's top advisory panel.
The focus of this year's growth strategy is meeting Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe's target of raising nominal gross domestic
product to 600 trillion yen ($5.40 trillion).
However, some economists have said sluggish growth in real wages
and Japan's shrinking workforce make it difficult to reach this
target. At the end of 2015, nominal GDP was around 500 trillion
Consumer spending accounts for around 60 percent of Japan's
economy, and there is renewed focus on the household sector as
consumption has struggled to gain momentum recently.
There is also lingering speculation that Abe will cancel a
nationwide sales tax increase scheduled for 2017 and focus more
on fiscal spending to raise GDP and rebuild areas damaged by an
earthquake in southern Japan earlier this month.
Previously, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has issued
shopping vouchers, which economists say tends to only
temporarily lift consumer spending and the broader economy.
In the U.S., Black Friday is what the November day after the
Thanksgiving holidays, when shoppers jam stores to try to get
huge discounts, is called.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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