The prime minister has called four meetings since September with union and business leaders to persuade them to build a consensus on the need for higher wages. The next one is today, with those attending to include Hiromasa Yonekura, head of the Keidanren business lobby and chairman of Sumitomo Chemical Co., according to the cabinet office.
The central bank’s efforts to drive 2 percent inflation are adding urgency to the task as consumer prices start to pick up. In addition, Abe needs to navigate the economy through a sales-tax increase in April that will damp consumption and is forecast to trigger a one-quarter contraction.
Large companies plan to boost spending by 4.6 percent in the year ending March, compared with a 5.1 percent projection three months earlier, the BOJ’s quarterly Tankan survey showed this week.
“We still don’t find any evidence that corporates are really starting to get confident about the sustainability of the recovery and actually ramping up domestic investment,” Izumi Devalier, a Japan economist at HSBC Holdings Plc in Hong Kong, said this week. “And that remains a worry in an environment where consumption is going to weaken next year.” - (Bloomberg)