Japan Monetary Policy June 2017


Japan: BoJ keeps policy on hold, paints a rosier picture

June 16, 2017

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) maintained its monetary policy stance at its 15–16 June meeting, voting to continue with its Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing (QQE) with Yield Curve Control program as long as is necessary to achieve and maintain its 2.0% inflation target. The Bank voted 7–2 to leave the existing policy in place, which was in line with market expectations. The only two dissenters, who are in favor of a gradual normalization, will step down in July, leaving Governor Haruhiko Kuroda with a monochrome board. The interest rate applied to policy-rate balances in current accounts held by financial institutions at the Bank was left at minus 0.1%, 10-year bond yields were capped at around 0%, while the pace of asset purchases remained at JPY 80 trillion (USD 727 billion) annually.

The result of June’s meeting confirms that Japan is still far away from unwinding its long-lasting monetary stimulus, as inflationary pressures remain weak and achieving the 2.0% target is still nothing more than a mirage. The Bank slightly upgraded its view of the economy this month, stating that “private consumption has increased its resilience”. This compares with April’s assessment that consumer spending was merely “resilient”. Although a tightening labor market and a healthy external sector are propping up the economy, for now these dynamics are not translating into a sustained increase in wage growth, which would help drive inflation higher.

Adding to voices to maintain the current monetary policy stance, International Monetary Fund Deputy Managing Director David Lipton stated that it was premature for the BoJ to discuss an exit strategy and that authorities should continue implementing their accommodative fiscal and monetary policies. Moreover, the IMF official urged the government to push ahead with structural reforms in a context of resilient economic growth. The next meeting is scheduled for 19–20 July.

The analysts FocusEconomics polled this month expect the BoJ’s short-term policy rate to end this year at minus 0.10%, and also see it ending 2018 at minus 0.10%. The 10-year bond yield is expected to be 0.06% by the end of this year, before rising to 0.10% in 2018. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the yen to trade at 115.8 per USD at the end of 2017. For 2018, the panel projects that the yen will trade at 115.8 per USD.

Author: Ricard Torné, Lead Economist

Sample Report

Looking for forecasts related to Monetary Policy in Japan? Download a sample report now.


Japan Economic News

More news

Search form