At today’s meeting, policymakers at the Bank of Japan (BoJ) kept the policy unchanged, and the benchmark interest rate at -0.1 percent in 7-2 votes.
Let’s look at the current monetary policies,
- Bank of Japan had already shifted the timeline for reaching the 2 percent inflation goal to “earliest possible time” and with that view, it had introduced QQE with yield curve control. It means that the bank would guide both short term and long term rates while purchasing assets at the pace of ¥80 trillion per annum until the inflation overshoots the 2 percent target and stays above.
- For short term rate controls, BoJ will maintain a negative interest rate of -0.1 percent and for the long term rate control, it would purchase assets in such a manner that the 10-year yield remains around zero percent.
- In addition to that, BoJ would use fixed rate purchases of JGBs and fixed rate funds supplying for a period up to 10 years.
- The bank will continue to purchase ETFs at ¥6 trillion per annum and J-REITs at ¥90 billion per annum. CPs will be maintained at ¥2.2 trillion and corporate bonds at ¥3.2 trillion.
Key takeaways from the economic outlook -
- Japan's economy has been on a moderate expanding trend, with a virtuous cycle from income to spending operating, although exports and production have been affected by the slowdown in overseas economies. Overseas economies have been growing moderately on the whole, although slowdowns have been observed. In this situation, exports and industrial production have shown some weakness. On the other hand, corporate profits and business sentiment have stayed at favorable levels on the whole, albeit with some weakness observed in part, and business fixed investment has continued on an increasing trend. Private consumption has been increasing moderately, albeit with fluctuations, against the background of steady improvement in the employment and income situation. Housing investment has been more or less flat. Public investment also has been more or less flat, remaining at a relatively high level. Meanwhile, labor market conditions have continued to tighten steadily. Financial conditions are highly accommodative. On the price front, the year-on-year rate of change in the consumer price index (CPI, all items less fresh food) is in the range of 0.5-1.0 percent. Inflation expectations have been more or less unchanged. (Neutral bias)
- With regard to the outlook, Japan's economy is likely to continue on a moderate expanding trend, despite being affected by the slowdown in overseas economies for the time being. Domestic demand is expected to follow an uptrend, with a virtuous cycle from income to spending being maintained in both the corporate and household sectors, mainly against the background of highly accommodative financial conditions and the underpinnings through government spending. Although exports are projected to show some weakness for the time being, they are expected to be on a moderate increasing trend on the back of overseas economies growing moderately on the whole. The year-on-year rate of change in the CPI is likely to increase gradually toward 2 percent, mainly on the back of the output gap remaining positive and medium- to long-term inflation expectations rising. (Mild hawkish bias)
- Risks to the outlook include the following: the U.S. macroeconomic policies and their impact on global financial markets; the consequences of protectionist moves and their effects; developments in emerging and commodity-exporting economies such as China, including the effects of the two aforementioned factors; developments in global adjustments in IT-related goods; negotiations on the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union (EU) and their effects; and geopolitical risks. Downside risks concerning overseas economies are likely to be 3 significant, and it also is necessary to pay close attention to their impact on firms' and households' sentiment in Japan. (Neutral bias)
- The Bank will continue with "Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing (QQE) with Yield Curve Control," aiming to achieve the price stability target of 2 percent, as long as it is necessary for maintaining that target in a stable manner. It will continue expanding the monetary base until the year-on-year rate of increase in the observed CPI (all items less fresh food) exceeds 2 percent and stays above the target in a stable manner. As for policy rates, the Bank intends to maintain the current extremely low levels of short- and long-term interest rates for an extended period of time, at least through around spring 2020, taking into account uncertainties regarding economic activity and prices including developments in overseas economies and the effects of the scheduled consumption tax hike. It will examine the risks considered most relevant to the conduct of monetary policy and make policy adjustments as appropriate, taking account of developments in economic activity and prices as well as financial conditions, with a view to maintaining the momentum toward achieving the price stability target. (Dovish bias)
The Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) monetary policy statement remains broadly balanced and neutral, however, it is slightly dovish tilted compared to previous statements. The Japanese yen is currently trading at 107.8 per dollar and Nikkei at 21630.