Last-Minute Demand before Japan Tax Hike Remains Uneven

Economy Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Aug. 31 (Jiji Press)--Growth in demand for products ahead of the planned consumption tax hike from 8 pct to 10 pct in Japan in October has been patchy compared with the time when the previous increase in the rate of the levy, from 5 pct to the current level, was carried out in April 2014.

At the time of the previous increase, consumers began flocking to car dealers for new vehicles more than six months before the move. This time, sales have been slow ahead of the coming tax hike.

By contrast, home appliances have been in high demand.

The sluggish new car sales reflect measures aimed at curbing a surge in demand before the tax increase and a possible subsequent plunge after the hike, including the government's plan to reduce an automobile-related tax by up to 4,500 yen from October.

"People are becoming cautious about purchasing new vehicles" as they try to confirm the impacts of such measures," an auto industry official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press