Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BOJ maintains target for expanding monetary base

    The Bank of Japan (BOJ) maintained its target for expanding the monetary base at an annual pace of about 60-70 billion yen. The BOJ did not make any further comments in a brief statement.
    In April 2013 the BOJ embarked on aggressive monetary easing to rid the country of some 15 year's of deflation by purchasing government bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Japanese real estate investment trusts, commercial paper and corporate bonds.
    As the BOJ's benchmark interest rate was already at essentially zero, the BOJ started to target the country's monetary base - cash in circulation and banks' reserves at the BOJ - with the aim of doubling it to 270 trillion by the end of this year from 138 trillion at the end of 2012.
    The BOJ has often said it would continue with its quantitative easing for as long as necessary to achieve its aim of boosting inflation to its 2.0 percent target.
    In March Japan's headline inflation rate rose further to 1.6 percent from 1.5 percent in February with core inflation stable at 1.3 percent, unchanged for the last four months.
    Economic growth has been strengthening but in the fourth quarter of 2013 Japan's Gross Domestic Product expanded by only 0.2 percent from the third quarter for annual growth of 2.6 percent compared with 2.3 percent from the previous quarter.


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