Japan: Central Bank maintains Asset Purchase Program unchanged
October 5, 2012
At its 4-5 October monetary policy meeting, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) decided to refrain from adding extra stimulus and maintained the size of the JPY 80 trillion (USD 1.0 trillion) Asset Purchase Program. The decision was widely expected by the market, after the BoJ had approved a JPY 10 billion increase at its 18-19 September meeting. The Bank also decided to leave the collateralized overnight call rate unchanged at around 0 to 0.1%, in line with market expectations. The BoJ assessed that that "economic activity is levelling off more or less", while overseas economies have "moved somewhat deeper into a deceleration phase". That said, the Bank assured that domestic demand remains resilient on the back of reconstruction-related demand. Meanwhile, the newly appointed Economy Minister Seiji Maehara participated in the BoJ's policy meeting, becoming the first minister to do so since 2003. This move was mostly seen as an attempt to put more pressure on the Bank to further ease monetary policy. The next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for 30 October.