Friday, October 7, 2011

Bank of Japan Monetary Policy Unchanged, Rate at 0-0.10%

The Bank of Japan held its uncollateralized overnight call rate unchanged at a range of 0 to 0.1% by a unanimous vote.  The Bank said "Japan's economic activity has continued picking up.  Production and exports have continued to increase, although their paces have moderated after going through the recovery phase immediately following the quake-induced plunge... business fixed investment has been increasing moderately, and private consumption has been picking up on the whole."  

The BoJ also noted: "In order for Japan's economy to overcome deflation and return to a sustainable growth path with price stability, the Bank will continue to consistently make contributions as the central bank by pursuing powerful monetary easing through the comprehensive monetary easing measures."

The Bank of Japan also held its monetary policy interest rate unchanged in July this year, and announced additions to its quantitative easing program during its August meeting.  The Bank last changed its asset purchase program in March this year, when it added a further 5 trillion yen to its target.  Japan reported annual headline consumer price inflation of 0.2% in both August, July and June, and 0.3% in both May and April, as Japan finally begins to see some positive inflation figures.  

The Bank has previously forecast real GDP growth of 0.2-0.6% in fiscal 2011, and 2.5-3.0% in fiscal 2012.  Nominal GDP growth in Japan was recorded at -0.5% in June and -0.9% in March, placing it at -1% in both quarters on an annual basis.  The Japanese Yen (JPY) last traded around 76.8 against the USD, and had gained around 6% against the US dollar this year.


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