Mon, Dec 08, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Japanese economy could shrink in next fiscal year: minister


Japan’s economy may shrink next fiscal year and needs a stimulus plan to counter a rise in unemployment, Japanese Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosano said.

“Japan’s economy will either have zero or negative growth next year,” Yosano said yesterday on the state-run NHK’s weekly Sunday Debate program. “We need a strong budget for employment.”

Japanese companies plan to fire more than 30,000 temporary and part-time workers before the end of March, Japan’s Labor Ministry said last month. The world’s second-largest economy shrank an annualized 0.4 percent last quarter, entering its first recession since 2001.

“Japan’s job situation will become very serious next year,” Yosano said. “Full time employees are next in line to be affected.”

Japan’s jobless rate fell to 3.7 percent in October from 4 percent the previous month, as people stopped looking for work.

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