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The Bank of Japan decided to leave its monetary stimulus unchanged and provided an outline for the new programme to support efforts on climate change, through which the apex bank plans to offer long-term loans at zero percent interest.

The central bank also lowered its near-term growth outlook citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and raised its fiscal 2021 inflation forecast.

The board, governed by Haruhiko Kuroda, on Friday, voted 8-1, to hold the interest rate at -0.1 percent on current accounts that financial institutions maintain at the central bank.

The bank will continue to purchase a necessary amount of Japanese government bonds without setting an upper limit so that 10-year JGB yields will remain at around zero percent.

The BoJ provided a preliminary outline for a new-funding programme to support efforts in fields related to climate change. The bank plans to launch the measure this year and to continue until March 2031.

The BoJ has shifted from crisis mode towards addressing long-term structural issues, Marcel Thieliant, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

“With the vaccination program now at cruising speed, we suspect that the Bank won’t extend the deadline for its COVID-19 facilities beyond March 2022,” Thieliant added.

In the latest quarterly report, the bank forecast the economy to expand 3.8 percent in the fiscal 2021 instead of 4 percent estimated in April.

However, the outlook for the fiscal 2022 was lifted to 2.7 percent from 2.4 percent and the estimate for the fiscal 2023 was retained at 1.3 percent.

Citing higher energy prices, the bank raised its inflation forecast to 0.6 percent for the fiscal 2021 from 0.1 percent projected previously.

Inflation forecast for the next fiscal was lifted marginally to 0.9 percent from 0.8 percent and the outlook for the fiscal 2023 was maintained at 1 percent.


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