Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bank of Japan maintains asset purchase target

    The Bank of Japan (BOJ) maintained its target for asset purchases with the aim of increasing the monetary base by an annual pace of about 60-70 trillion yen.
    The brief statement by the BOJ did not include any further details, but later the BOJ issued its latest economic outlook, revising slightly downward its growth forecast for the current fiscal year but revising upwards its forecast for inflation.
    A majority of the BOJ's policy board members now forecast an average 2.7 percent growth in the 2013 fiscal year, which began on May 1, down from July's forecast of 2.8 percent, while growth in fiscal 2014 was revised up to 1.5 percent from an earlier 1.3 percent. The forecast for growth in 2015 was unchanged at 1.5 percent.
    Consumer price inflation in the current fiscal year was forecast at 0.7 percent, up from a previous forecast of 0.6 percent, while the forecast for 2014 was unchanged at 3.3 percent and 2015 was unchanged at 2.6 percent.
    In April the BOJ embarked on a new and aggressive monetary easing with the aim of doubling the country's monetary base - banks reserves and the central bank plus currency in circulation - in order to rid Japan of nearly 15 years of deflation and boost inflation to 2.0 percent in two years.

    Since June, Japan's inflation rate has turned positive, following 12 straight months of falling prices. In September Japan's headline inflation rate rose to 1.1 percent from 0.91 percent in August.
    Japan's economy has also been strengthening, with the Gross Domestic Product up by an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the second quarter, up from 0.3 percent in the first quarter.
    At its previous meeting, the BOJ repeated that the country's economy was "recovering moderately" while the increase in consumer prices was likely to rise gradually.


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