Bank of Japan Holds off Easing Measures

At the Monetary Policy Meeting held on April 10th, the Policy Board of the Bank of Japan decided to encourage the uncollateralized overnight call rate to remain at around 0 to 0.1 percent.

Extracts from Statement on Monetary Policy

2. Overseas economies on the whole still have not emerged from a deceleration phase but U.S. economic conditions have continued to improve moderately and the sluggish European economy has stopped deteriorating. Global financial markets have generally been stable.

3. Japan's economic activity has shown some signs of picking up, although it has remained more or less flat. Exports have so far remained more or less flat. As for domestic demand, business fixed investment has been on a moderate increasing trend aided by the restoration of disaster-stricken facilities. Private consumption has firmed up due in part to the effects of measures to stimulate demand for automobiles, and housing investment has generally been picking up. Public investment has recently turned to an increase. Reflecting these developments in demand at home and abroad, production has shown some signs of picking up, although it has remained more or less flat. In these circumstances, business sentiment has been more or less unchanged on the whole, with continued improvement in domestic demand-oriented sectors and lingering cautiousness in export-oriented ones. Meanwhile, financial conditions in Japan have continued to ease. On the price front, the year-on-year rate of change in the CPI (all items less fresh food) is around 0 percent.

4. As for the outlook, Japan's economy is expected to return to a moderate recovery path as the pace of recovery in overseas economies picks up, led by emerging and commodity-exporting economies, and as reconstruction-related demand after the earthquake disaster gradually strengthens. The year-on-year rate of change in the CPI is expected to remain at around 0 percent for the time being.

5. Regarding risks to the economic outlook, there remains a high degree of uncertainty about the global economy, including the prospects for the European debt problem, developments in international commodity prices, and the likelihood of emerging and commodity-exporting economies simultaneously achieving price stability and economic growth. Regarding risks to the price outlook, careful attention should be paid to future developments in international commodity prices and in medium- to long-term inflation expectations.

6. The Bank recognizes that Japan's economy faces the critical challenge of overcoming deflation and returning to a sustainable growth path with price stability. The goal of overcoming deflation will be achieved both through efforts to strengthen the economy's growth potential and support from the financial side. With this in mind, the Bank will pursue powerful monetary easing, and will support private financial institutions in their efforts to strengthen the foundations for Japan's economic growth via the fund-provisioning measure to support strengthening the foundations for economic growth. At today's meeting, as shown in the Attachment, the Bank established detailed rules for a new U.S. dollar lending arrangement equivalent to 1 trillion yen, of which a preliminary outline was released at the previous meeting in March., Bank of Japan
4/10/2012 11:08:43 AM