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Japan Inc resilient in face of sales tax rise: Reuters poll

By James Topham TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese companies have weathered the first days of a rise in the country's consumption tax, with sales resilient and pricing power little damaged, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, in an early sign the tax hike will not derail the economy. This good news for "Abenomics" bolsters the Bank of Japan's view that it does not need to ease policy further to cushion the impact from the tax, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government raised on April 1 to help curb the nation's mountain of public debt.

Japan government cuts economy view after sales tax; no need for fresh stimulus

By Tetsushi Kajimoto TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's government slightly cut its overall view on the economy, its first downgrade in a year and a half, but officials shrugged off the need for more stimulus to support the economy. The government said the economy was on track for a moderate recovery, in keeping with its main overview at its March assessment, but noted there was some weakness in demand after a sales tax increase went into effect on April 1.

BOJ chief says Japan economy recovering moderately

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Thursday that the Japanese economy is continuing to recover moderately despite being affected by the consumption tax hike in April to 8 percent from 5 percent. Speaking at a quarterly meeting of the central bank's branch managers, Kuroda said, "The economy is expected to continue a moderate recovery as a trend, while being affected by a decline in demand following a front-loaded demand increase prior to the consumption tax hike," according to a BOJ release.

U.S. urges Japan possibly take more fiscal steps to counter slowdown

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday called on Japan to take additional fiscal steps if the economy slows more than anticipated following the 3-percentage-point hike in the consumption tax on April 1. In its Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies, the department said Japanese authorities plan to accelerate regular budgetary spending "but should be prepared to provide additional fiscal support if growth slows more than authorities forecast."

Gov't says no additional spending in 2015 without secured funding

SEJONG, April 15 (Yonhap) -- All government offices will be required to first secure means of financing their projects before increasing their spending next year, the finance ministry said Tuesday, a move aimed at striking a fiscal balance by 2017. "The government seeks to encourage each government ministry to restructure and reprioritize their spending by further strengthening the general rule that there will be no additional spending without a means to finance such spending," the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said.

France chops red tape to save firms billions of euros

By Emmanuel Jarry PARIS (Reuters) - A panel created by President Francois Hollande to cut red tape for French business announced 50 measures on Monday aimed at saving billions of euros a year, as his government seeks to revive a struggling economy. The measures will untangle a thicket of rules - including, for example, a requirement that bakers inform local police of their holiday plans - which are seen as preventing small and big business from flourishing in France.

Canada's tax agency pulls plug on e-filing as world frets over Heartbleed bug

OTTAWA - With tax-return season in full swing, the Canada Revenue Agency suddenly locked down its online filing services on Wednesday, fearful of a new vulnerability in software used by much of the world to safeguard secure websites on the Internet. All of the federal government's online systems were under review after word of the so-called "Heartbleed" computer bug prompted the tax agency to pull the plug on its electronic services as a precaution.

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.

Desperate for taxes, Puerto Rico tries to get grip on underground economy

By Luciana Lopez LARES, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Mattress maker Angel Lopez is both a problem and an opportunity for the Puerto Rican government. His one-man business works off the books as part of a vast underground economy, which doesn't directly pay into the treasury's coffers and is a major headache for an impoverished island that is $70 billion in debt.

France's Valls wins parliament backing for tax and spend shake-up

By Leigh Thomas PARIS (Reuters) - New Prime Minister Manuel Valls won a vote of confidence in parliament on Tuesday after unveiling planned tax and public spending cuts, vowing to bring France's public deficit down while resisting outright austerity.
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