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Lew urges Japan to ready for possible lull after tax hike

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged Japan on Wednesday to take measures such as a fresh stimulus package if signs of an economic slowdown emerge as a result of the recent consumption tax hike. "The value-added tax is something that obviously has the potential to slow the economy," Lew said in an interview with CNBC television, mentioning Japan's tax rate increase to 8 percent from 5 percent, which began April 1.

Lew urges Japan to ready for possible lull after tax hike

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged Japan on Wednesday to take measures such as a fresh stimulus package if signs of an economic slowdown emerge as a result of the recent consumption tax hike. "The value-added tax is something that obviously has the potential to slow the economy," Lew said in an interview with CNBC television, mentioning Japan's tax rate increase to 8 percent from 5 percent, which began April 1.

Greece to end exile on bond markets as thousands protest

Greece announced Wednesday its return to the debt markets after a four-year absence on the same day as protestors launched the first anti-austerity strike of the year, crippling key services across the country. While up to 20,000 people demonstrated in the streets of the capital Athens and second city Thessaloniki, disrupting rail and ferry services and causing government offices to close, Greece's finance ministry said the country would return to the medium-term debt markets for the first time since 2010.

Schaeuble 'can't bear' growth vs austerity debate anymore

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble reacted Wednesday to IMF advice to boost investment by saying he "can't bear hearing" the debate over fiscal austerity versus pro-growth policies anymore. He was speaking a day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) again encouraged export power Germany to invest more to boost domestic demand, and after Schaeuble promised a balanced budget from next year.

IMF cautions India's next government on rates, deficits

The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday that India's central bank may need to raise rates further to contain inflation and warned the next government that it would have little immediate spending firepower. The comments by the Washington-based institution came a day after India began a marathon six-week election which is expected to end with the Hindu nationalist opposition taking power.

P.E.I. delivers budget focused on health care as it takes aim at surplus

CHARLOTTETOWN - Some kindergarten children in Prince Edward Island will get free eye exams and glasses in a $1.6 billion budget introduced Tuesday by the provincial government that also sees revenue outpace increases in spending. The province and the Prince Edward Island Association of Optometrists are behind the program, called Eye See, Eye Learn, which Finance Minister Wes Sheridan said is aimed at improving children's ability to learn.

S. Korea's national debt rises to 1,117 tln won

SEJONG, April 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's national debt rose to about 1,117 trillion won (US$1.06 trillion) in 2013 mainly due to increased pension liabilities, the finance ministry said Tuesday. According to a settlement of accounts for last year's budget compiled by the ministry and approved by the Cabinet, South Korea's national debt including the central government's debt and provisions came to 1,117.3 trillion won, up from 902.1 trillion won tallied a year earlier. This represents 78.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

China to steer clear of stimulus for economy: Xinhua commentary

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is going to avoid going down the "familiar path" of resorting to large stimulus measures for the economy, and there is no sign of a shift in monetary and fiscal policy, state news agency Xinhua wrote in a commentary on Monday. Flagging growth has unnerved global investors and fuelled speculation about a modest stimulus package to boost activity. But Xinhua, in an English-language piece, dismissed speculation about any stimulus package in the offing.

No reason to again give France more time to cut deficit: Rehn

By Jan Strupczewski BRUSSELS (Reuters) - There is no reason to further extend a European Union deadline for France to cut its budget deficit, the EU's top economic official said on Saturday, adding policy-makers should have learnt the lessons of the debt crisis and stuck to agreed rules. In June last year Paris got two more years, until 2015, to bring its budget shortfall below the EU ceiling of 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), from a 4 percent gap the European Commission expects it to have this year.

Abe eager to use foreigners in housekeeping, nursing care fields

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday he is keen to see more foreign workers enter the fields of housekeeping and nursing care, adding this will make it easier for Japanese women to enter the workforce.
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