(Recasts, adds context)
By Takaya Yamaguchi
TOKYO Dec 4 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
is readying a $182 billion economic package this week in his
latest bid to pull the economy out of deflation, but the new
measures will not require the government to sell more debt.
The package, to be approved by Abe's government on Thursday,
will have a headline value of 18.6 trillion yen ($181.6
billion), people familiar with the process said on Wednesday.
That puts the overall package on a par with Abe's 20
trillion yen burst of spending early this year as part of his
campaign to end 15 years of falling prices and tepid growth.
But the bulk of the package includes loans from
government-backed lenders, spending by local governments and
corporations, the sources said. The headline figure usually
announced by the Japanese government on economic measures often
includes spending that has already been committed, and tends to
far exceed the amount of actual new government spending.
The long-expected core of the package will be spending
measures Abe ordered in October to bolster the economy ahead of
a national sales-tax hike in April, the sources told Reuters on
condition of anonymity.
Government officials at the time said the main stimulus
steps, to be approved on Thursday, would be worth about 5
trillion yen. Sources said on Tuesday the stimulus will be
between 5.4 trillion yen and 5.6 trillion yen.
This amount will not require new debt issuance as it will be
covered by tax revenues that have exceeded initial budget
projections due to the economic recovery, as well as using
unspent funds from other accounts, the sources said.
Measures include steps intended to boost competitiveness;
assist women, youth and the elderly; accelerate reconstruction
from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami; and build
infrastructure for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, they said.
($1 = 102.4450 Japanese yen)
(Writing by William Mallard; Editing by Dominic Lau and Eric