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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 22 - 28  > Engel’s coefficient surges under Abe regime
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2017 February 22 - 28 [ECONOMY]

Engel’s coefficient surges under Abe regime

February 25, 2017
The Engel’s coefficient in Japan has risen over the past four years since Prime Minister Abe Shinzo returned to power at the end of 2012.

Engel’s coefficient is the proportion used for food expenses in the household economy. If the proportion rises, it means that the family budget becomes tighter. Calculating the coefficient based on the Family Income and Expenditure Survey report recently published by the Internal Affairs Ministry, it increased from 23.5% in 2012 to 25.8% in 2016. The latest figure is the highest in 30 years.

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Miyamoto Toru took up this issue in his Diet interpellation time on February 24.

Miyamoto asked PM Abe if he admits that the increase in the Engel’s coefficient was caused by the Abe government’s economic policy, including the consumption tax hike and measures aimed at bringing down the value of the yen. Abe replied that the rise in the index seems to reflect “changes in people’s lifestyles”.

Miyamoto said that lifestyle changes are totally insufficient to explain this phenomenon. Citing the government data showing that real consumer spending has declined three years in a row, he said the fact is that the general public is forced to reduce other expenditures to pay for food expenses.

The JCP parliamentarian stressed the need to make a drastic change in government policy in order to help increase people’s incomes significantly.
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