Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said the latest set of economic indicators released on Friday offer a favorable condition for the government\'s planned consumption tax hike next April. \"Recent economic figures show the Japanese economy is improving as a whole, \" Aso said at a news conference. According to the government, the country\'s unemployment rate improved by 3. 8 percent, industrial production rebounded, household spending gained and the core consumer price inflation rose to its highest level since 2008. \"These numbers will affect discussions on the sales tax increase,\" Aso said. The government has proposed to raise the consumption tax from the current five to eight percent next April, and to 10 percent in October 2015 to restore the country\'s fiscal health, with its public debt reaching more than 200 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to make a final decision by early October on whether to go ahead with the April tax hike. \"If the sales tax is not raised, it would be seen that Japan has no intention of proceeding with fiscal consolidations and could cause a sell-off in stocks and a plunge in government bond prices,\" Aso warned.