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Bank of Japan trims inflation view, stands pat on policy

Bank of Japan trims inflation view, stands pat on policy”

The Bank of Japan raised its economic forecasts at its policy meeting outcome on Thursday, but it kept policy steady, as was widely expected.

The BOJ raised its economic assessment.

In its quarterly outlook report, the BOJ cut its inflation projection for the fiscal year that started this month to 1.4 percent from 1.5 percent. Trump's plan has been billed as the biggest tax cut in history, but the one-page proposal has thus far failed to offer details on how he will cut deficit, which analysts think can be a hard goal.

David Lloyd of British asset management firm M&G Investments said that his "conversations with central bank staffers" suggest the ECB is not concerned about market ructions that tightening policy would cause.

The Bank of Japan policy board, led by Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, voted 7-2 to retain the central bank's target of raising the amount of outstanding Japan government bond holdings at an annual pace of about JPY 80 trillion.

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The BOJ now expects real gross domestic product growth for the current fiscal year through March 2018 to reach 1.6%, up from its previous forecast of 1.5%.

"Discussing an exit strategy in detail at this time would bring turmoil to financial markets", he said.

The BOJ will continue with its stimulus to "achieve the price stability target of 2% as long as it is necessary for maintaining that target in a stable manner", it said.

In the USA, the question is how many times will the Fed increase rates this year, while in Europe, Mario Draghi faces increasing pressure to map out a path toward the end of stimulus.

"But price momentum, while sustained, lacks steam", he added, signalling anew that the BOJ will maintain its massive monetary stimulus for the time being.

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Analysts say the bank is trying to support Japan's economy by maintaining easing measures. The latest set of February inflation figures from Japan have exhibited little signs of taking off. Headline CPI growth regressed to 0.3% year-on-year (YoY) while core CPI, or CPI excluding fresh food, made only slight headway in positive territory to 0.2% YoY.

The BOJ, which has an inflation target of 2%, cut its inflation projection for fiscal 2017 to 1.4% from 1.5%. Figures for March are due on Friday, with the median of estimates compiled by Bloomberg for another gain of 0.2 percent.

Many analysts remain doubtful inflation will accelerate as quickly as the BOJ projects, with slow wage growth keeping households from boosting spending.

"Risks to both economic activity and prices are skewed to the downside", the BoJ said in a statement.

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