Japan's Point Reward Program Ending without Much Boost to Consumption

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, June 29 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government's shopping point reward program for promoting cashless payments is ending on Tuesday, after boosting consumer spending only to a limited extent.

The program was introduced at the time of the consumption tax hike from 8 pct to 10 pct in October 2019, to mitigate the adverse effects of the tax increase on personal spending.

Under the program, the government has returned up to 5 pct of the value of purchases in the form of points to shoppers making cashless payments at registered stores.

The government spent as much as 775.3 billion yen on the program, which was joined by 1.15 million small and medium-sized stores, making up over 50 pct of some 2 million targeted stores.

But the program failed to prevent private consumption from slumping after the tax hike. Reflecting the chilled consumer sentiment, Japan's gross domestic product contracted at an annualized pace of 7.2 pct on price-adjusted real terms in October-December 2019.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press