Kan Japan er weer bovenop komen?

CAMBRIDGE – De recente beslissing van de Japanse premier Shinzo Abe om het beleid van monetaire stimulering drastisch uit te breiden, een BTW-verhoging uit te stellen en midden december vervroegde verkiezingen te houden hebben ertoe geleid dat zijn land weer voorop gaat in een intensief gevoerd beleidsdebat. Het probleem is eenvoudig: hoe kunnen vergrijzende geavanceerde economieën hun groei na een financiële crisis nieuw leven inblazen? De oplossing is helaas niet zo simpel.

Het is nu duidelijk dat de eerste ronde van de hervormingen van Abe – die bekendstaan als 'Abenomics' – er niet in zijn geslaagd duurzame inflatie op te leveren. De hoop op een voortgaand herstel heeft nu plaatsgemaakt voor twee opeenvolgende kwartalen van negatieve groei. De vraag is of 'Abenomics 2.0' de Japanse economie weer op het pad naar hernieuwde voorspoed zal weten te zetten.

Mijn eigen idee is dat de 'drie pijlen' van Abenomics 1.0 in principe het juiste beoogden: alle denkbare monetaire maatregelen om de inflatie aan te jagen, een ondersteunend begrotingsbeleid en structurele hervormingen om de groei op de langere termijn te stimuleren. Maar hoewel de centrale bank onder gouverneur Haruhiko Kuroda zich aan de afspraken heeft gehouden, schoten de twee andere 'pijlen' van Abenomics tekort.

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