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Jan 30, 2015

Weak Japan inflation puts pressure on BOJ even as economy shows signs of life

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s core inflation slowed for a fifth month in December and is seen pressured further by collapsing oil, putting more distance to the central bank’s 2 percent price target even as other data point to a steady recovery for the recession-hit economy.

The Bank of Japan will be encouraged by data showing a rise in factory output thanks to a much-awaited rebound in exports, while household spending showed signs of bottoming out.

Jan 30, 2015

Slowing Japan inflation keeps BOJ under pressure but output rebounds

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s core consumer inflation slowed for a fifth straight month in December hit by collapsing oil prices, keeping the central bank under pressure to meet its ambitious 2 percent inflation target.

But factory output rose 1.0 percent in December helped by a much-awaited rebound in exports and manufacturers expect to increase production in January, boding well for an economy emerging from recession.

Jan 29, 2015

BOJ set to watch and wait as Abe team urges caution on fresh easing

TOKYO, Jan 29 (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan has put monetary
policy on hold and found backing for its wait-and-see stance
from advisors to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who worry more
easing could send the yen to damagingly low levels, according to
officials in the administration and central bank.

This newfound caution from some of the same Abe advisors who
urged the BOJ to launch its massive stimulus in 2013, means
Japan is set to be an outlier at a time when central banks from
Canada to the euro zone to Singapore have shocked markets by
easing policy in recent days.

Jan 29, 2015

BOJ’s Kuroda says focusing on long-term price trend

TOKYO, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko
Kuroda said on Thursday he was focusing on the long-term
inflation trend, which showed the country remained on track to
hit his ambitious price target.

Kuroda said that while consumer inflation may slow in the
short-term due to slumping oil prices, it will accelerate in the
latter half of the next fiscal year beginning in April as
companies raise wages and an economic recovery pushes up prices.

Jan 26, 2015

Majority of BOJ members say oil plunge benefits economy: December minutes

TOKYO (Reuters) – A majority of Bank of Japan board members said slumping oil prices will weigh on inflation in the short-term but will accelerate price rises over the long run by stimulating the economy, minutes of the bank’s policy-setting meeting in December showed.

The minutes suggest the central bank is in no rush to expand its massive stimulus program again and is likely to look through short-term dips in consumer inflation, as long as the economy is on track for a solid recovery.

Jan 21, 2015

BOJ cuts inflation forecast, governor signals no rush to ease

TOKYO, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Two years into so-called Abenomics
- a mix of aggressive monetary and fiscal policy plus structural
reform – the Bank of Japan is struggling to reach an ambitious
inflation target and convince Japanese that years of deflation
are in the past.

Instead, inflation is slowing, the economy is only slowing
emerging from recession and confidence among the economy’s
bedrock manufacturers is slipping.

Jan 21, 2015

BOJ cuts inflation forecast, expands loan scheme instead of QQE

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan cut next fiscal year’s inflation forecast on Wednesday and expanded a loan scheme aimed at boosting lending, hoping to deflect criticism it is sitting idly by as a slump in oil prices pushes inflation further away from its target.

As widely expected, the BOJ held off on expanding its massive stimulus program and maintained its pledge to increase base money at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen ($678 billion) through buying government bonds and risk assets.

Jan 20, 2015

Bank of Japan set to cut price forecasts, may expand loan schemes

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan is likely to cut its inflation forecasts on Wednesday and may expand loan schemes aimed at boosting lending, hoping to deflect criticism it is sitting idly by as a slump in oil prices pushes inflation further away from its target.

If the new inflation forecast for the next fiscal year from April falls below 1 percent, bolder action cannot be ruled out, such as a full-blown expansion of asset purchases or a cut in the 0.1 percent interest the BOJ pays on excess reserves parked at the central bank, some analysts say.

Jan 19, 2015

‘Abenomics’ architect says no need for more BOJ easing

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan does not need to ease monetary policy further this year unless the economy is hit by a severe external shock, a ruling party lawmaker and one of the architects of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” policies told Reuters on Monday.

The central bank stunned markets by expanding its stimulus program in October last year to try to prevent slumping oil prices, and a subsequent slowdown in price growth, from delaying the achievement of its 2 percent inflation target.

Jan 19, 2015

BOJ faces crunch time as oil slump threatens inflation target

TOKYO (Reuters) – Bank of Japan policymakers gathering for a rate review this week will face the daunting task of coming up with a reason why they can hold off on expanding stimulus for now, even as slumping oil prices keep inflation further away from their 2 percent target.

Less than three months ago, the BOJ justified its shock expansion of “quantitative and qualitative easing” (QQE) as aimed at preventing oil price falls, and a subsequent slowdown in price rises, from weighing on inflation expectations.