The Strategist

Central Bank of Japan keeps monetary policy unchanged, economic forecasts rise

01/21/2020 - 09:22

Following a two-day meeting, the Bank of Japan left the monetary policy unchanged and improved forecasts for economic growth.

As expected, the interest rate on deposits of commercial banks with the Central Bank was maintained at minus 0.1%. The target yield of 10-year government bonds in Japan remained at about 0%.

The Central Bank also reiterated its promise to maintain rates at current low levels or even lower until the risks that impede the achievement of the inflation target of 2% disappear.

Although Japan's economy has probably contracted sharply in the last three months of 2019 after the devastating typhoon and increased sales tax, the economy's prospects now seem less gloomy.

The Bank of Japan raised its forecast for GDP growth for the fiscal year 2020, starting in April, to 0.9%, citing the influence of fiscal measures by the government. In October, an increase of 0.7% was expected.

In December, the Japanese authorities presented a package of fiscal stimulus in the amount of 13.2 trillion yen to support the growth of the third largest economy in the world.

“Japan’s economy is likely to continue to expand moderately,” as the impact of a slowdown in global growth on domestic demand will be limited, the Bank of Japan said. "While the risks associated with foreign economies have somewhat decreased, they remain large," the regulator added, emphasizing his determination to support an ultra-soft monetary policy.

The Bank of Japan also lowered its inflation forecast for the upcoming fiscal year from 1.1% to 1%.

In fiscal year 2021, according to central bank estimates, inflation will be 1.4% and will still be far from the target level.