BOJ keeps ultra-low rates, focus shifts to Ueda's inflation views | Inquirer Business

BOJ keeps ultra-low rates, focus shifts to Ueda’s inflation views

/ 11:53 AM June 16, 2023

TOKYO  -The Bank of Japan maintained ultra-easy monetary policy on Friday despite stronger-than-expected inflation, as it focuses on supporting a fragile economic recovery amid a sharp slowdown in global growth.

The central bank also kept intact a pledge to “patiently” sustain massive stimulus to ensure Japan sustainably achieves its 2 percent inflation target accompanied by wage hikes.

With price rises showing signs of broadening, however, markets are focusing on whether BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda will offer a stronger warning on the risk of an inflation overshoot at his post-meeting news conference.


The yen’s renewed sharp declines, which drew verbal warning from the finance minister, may also keep inflation elevated and put the BOJ’s ultra-low interest rates under the spotlight.


“Excessive volatility is undesirable and it should move stably,” Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki told reporters on Friday, adding that he expected the BOJ to work closely with the government to sustainably achieve its 2 percent inflation target.

The BOJ review came after the Federal Reserve’s decision on Wednesday to pause interest rate hikes as it closely watches the lagged economic impact of past monetary tightening.

As widely expected, the BOJ maintained its -0.1 percent short-term interest rate target and a 0 percent cap on the 10-year bond yield set under its yield curve control (YCC) policy.

While warning about risks to the global outlook, the BOJ stuck to its view Japan‘s economy is headed for a moderate recovery thanks to a post-pandemic pickup in consumption.

Japan‘s core consumer inflation hit 3.4 percent in April, staying above the BOJ’s target for over a year, keeping alive market expectations the bank will phase out YCC sometime this year.

Underscoring the dangers of misreading early signs of stubborn inflation, the European Central Bank raised borrowing costs to their highest level in 22 years on Thursday and signaled the likelihood of further hikes ahead.


Japan‘s economy is making a delayed recovery from the pandemic and expanded an annualized 2.7 percent in the first quarter, with solid corporate and household spending moderating the blow from soft exports.

Japan keeps growth focus but signals end to crisis-mode fiscal largesse

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TAGS: Bank of Japan, economy, Inflation, monetary policy

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