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BOJ keeps monetary policy unchanged, says 2020 Games to help

27 April 2017

In line with market expectations, the BOJ maintained its short-term interest rate target at minus 0.1 percent and committed to keeping the 10-year government debt yield at around zero percent. But it lowered its core consumer price index (CPI) growth forecast to 1.4 percent from 1.5 percent in the same period.

In a widely expected move, the BOJ maintained the 0.1 percent interest it charges on a portion of excess reserves that financial institutions park at the central bank.

"We expect inflation to accelerate toward 2 percent but now, inflation is around zero percent", Kuroda told reporters after the policy meeting. "The divergence between their price outlook and that of private economists continues, but it shouldn't be a big problem for now because it's been that way for a long time and few economists believe the BOJ's projections".

"The prerequisite for such debate to happen is for inflation to achieve 2 percent".

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Accompanying the meeting would be their quarterly summary of economic projection and a moderation of the central bank's inflation expectations is expected.

The Bank of Japan on Thursday upgraded its outlook for the domestic economy, encouraged by strong exports.

The BOJ's concern about speculation that it might tighten policy underscores the change of tide in global central banking since the latter half of previous year, when market participants were still trying to guess how policy in Japan could be further eased.

Asked about an exit strategy from the bank's massive monetary stimulus, Kuroda said it is too early to discuss that.

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"The BOJ upgraded its economic assessment, but this is due more to overseas demand".

This table shows the range of estimates for economic growth and inflation of the nine board members. "They have bottomed out but haven't rebounded yet, so we need to look at developments carefully".

But central bank policymakers still have little to cheer about with consumer inflation barely above zero percent, as soft household spending discourages companies from raising prices.

Kuroda's comments come as the United States central bank raises interest rates while speculation swirls that the European Central Bank is considering backing off its own stimulus by turning off the taps on massive bond-buying or raising borrowing costs from historic lows.

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BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said last week that the accommodative policy and asset purchases will continue for some time because inflation is "quite sluggish", underscoring how far the BOJ lags behind its counterparts in the US and Europe.

BOJ keeps monetary policy unchanged, says 2020 Games to help