TOKYO: The Bank of Japan (BoJ) kept monetary policy steady yesterday and slightly upgraded its view on the economy, suggesting that no immediate expansion of stimulus was needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Following are comments from BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda at his post-meeting news conference: “Domestic and overseas markets remain jittery but tensions have eased somewhat.”
“The BoJ will continue with measures that are exerting positive effects in the economy, such as measures to support corporate funding and stabilise markets.”
On new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s administration: “What’s most important for us is to take measures to ease the strain from Covid-19. We want to continue with powerful monetary easing and strive to support the economy and achieve our price target.”
“As stipulated in the BoJ law, the government and the BoJ must closely communicate with each other. We will continue to coordinate closely on policy management.”
On inflation target: “Our foremost target is our inflation goal. But we obviously are also striving to achieve healthy economic growth, including job conditions.”
“It’s important to achieve gradual price rises accompanied by rising corporate profits, jobs and wages. From this standpoint, we can consider additional monetary easing steps as needed.”
On the US Federal Reserve’s policy review: “The BoJ has an overshoot commitment, under which it pledges to increase monetary base until inflation stably exceeds 2%. The Fed’s new view is in line with ours.”
On exchange rates: “As I have been saying all along, currency rates should move in a way that reflects economic fundamentals. There’s no change to my stance of watching currency moves carefully from that perspective. There is absolutely no need to change our 2% inflation target... Given the pandemic, inflation is falling quite a lot in many countries. Prices may start falling in Japan as well.” — Reuters
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