Tokyo: The Bank of Japan (BoJ) kept monetary policy steady and raised its assessment of the economy on Thursday, as the yen’s recent declines and budding signs of recovery in global demand offer some relief to the export-reliant economy.
“Japan’s economy appears to be bottoming out,” the central bank said in a statement announcing its policy decision.
BoJ board member Ryuzo Miyao proposed continuing the BoJ’s policy of keeping interest rates virtually at zero until the central bank’s target of 2% inflation is in sight. His proposal was voted down 8-1.
As widely expected, the central bank maintained its overnight call rate target at a range of zero to 0.1% by a unanimous vote, and held off on expanding its asset buying and lending programme.
BoJ governor Masaaki Shirakawa, whose term ends on 19 March, will hold an embargoed news conference with his comments to come out some time after 4.15pm.
The central bank last month doubled its inflation target to 2% and made an open-ended commitment to buy assets from next year, under pressure from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take bolder steps to beat deflation.