Economia Japonesa

Economia Japonesa

Q: What is the status of the Japan’s “real economy?”

A: There are two types of reforms, “reactive reform” and “proactive reform.” The best example of reactive reform recently was the issue of nonperforming loans. The Koizumi government solved this problem during the past three years. When I became minister of financial services in 2002, the ratio of nonperforming loans among major banks was 8.4 percent. Now, it is less than 2 percent.

The period of “reactive reform” is over. Japan must now carry out “proactive reform.” The goal of the reform is to create an efficient economy by realizing smaller government while allowing the private sector and local governments, rather than the central government, to take the initiative. Postal privatization was the symbolic act.

Japan must continue this kind of reform whose breakthrough was made with postal privatization. With reactive reform, the economy escaped negative growth and restored its growth potential of about 2 percent. But the growth potential is still low. Japan can raise it through proactive reforms.

Q: In what state is the so-called nominal (monetary) economy?

A: In the context of the nominal economy, the question of deflation is important and it is continuing. It is globally understood that, in order to measure deflation, the core CPI is used as a yardstick, which does not include fresh food and energy-related items. Japan’s CPI based on that measure is in minus territory. Moreover, regarding the GDP deflator, which reflects all kinds of goods, including investment products, semi-finished products and so forth, Japan’s GDP deflator is minus 0.7 percent, slightly down from the minus 1.3 percent seen three years ago. What it means is deflation has not been beaten and a breakthrough is needed through monetary policy.

Olha, nunca vi um jornalista comum da Selva (Brasil) diferenciar entre economia “real” e “nominal”. Embora simples, a distinção é crucial. Quem nasceu e cresceu no mundo pós-Real, ou era muito novo para saber o que acontecia antes de 1994, pode achar estranho. Vamos lá. Imagine que você tenha R$ 100,00 no bolso para gastar e não existe inflação do mês passado para est. Ou seja, o índice de inflação que era igual a 1 continua igual a 1 (e a inflação:(1-1)*100%/1 = 0%). Seu poder real de compra, portanto, é de R$100,00/1 = R$ 100,00. Se a inflação subir, digamos, de 1 para 1,2 (20% de inflação), seu poder de compra vai para R$100,00/1,2.

Com este exemplo simples você já percebe a idéia da importância desta distinção, certo?

Bom, mais um pouco da entrevista:

Q: What should the BOJ’s monetary policy be?

A: Ideally, the BOJ should be given a free hand in monetary policy means. But, the bank must clearly show goals that can be achieved through implementation of its own policy means. The central banks of many developed countries, excluding Japan and the United States, explicitly indicate inflation targeting as their goal. Even the U.S. Fed under Ben Bernanke, has begun searching for ways to introduce inflation targeting. If the BOJ sets its inflation target at 1 to 2 percent, the bank should choose the method to achieve the goal. The independence of the bank is a policy means.

Many argue that the bank has its own policy goal. It is globally recognized that a central bank is independent in determining a policy means but not a policy goal. In the United Kingdom, the chancellor of the exchequer submits a policy goal to the Bank of England and the bank is given a free hand to achieve that goal. The chancellor does not stick his nose into policy means. Japan should adopt inflation targeting as well, although the way to determine an inflation target would vary from one form to another.

Metas de inflação, em breve?

A propósito, o BOJ (Nippon Guinkou) gosta de saber como está sua imagem junto ao público. Parece-me um bom instrumento para contrapor às tradicionais pesquisas de expectativas feitas junto às instituiçòes financeiras. Em outras palavras, se para um funcionário de um banco o custo de oportunidade de errar as expectativas é maior do que para um jovem de 20 anos, as duas séries, em princípio, devem apresentar um hiato, não é?

Claudio

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