- BOJ Keeps Policy Rates Unchanged Once Again
The Bank of Japan on Thursday left monetary policy rate unchanged amid growing political uncertainties.
The Monetary Policy Committee agreed to maintain the ongoing bond-buying program and leave interest rate at -0.1 percent.
Eight of the members voted to leave rates unchanged while Goushi Kataoka voted for a raise.
According to Kataoka, the chances of reaching 2 percent target by 2019 is unrealistic with the ongoing policy. He argued that the effect of the yield curve program is limited, even though consumer prices are likely to continue rising for a while due to surging oil prices and foreign exchange rates.
Market watchers expect the apex bank to stay the course at least through the end of the present administration in April. Meaning, BOJ will be behind global peers on growing balance sheet that is almost the size of Japan’s economy. This could trigger more dissenting views going forward.
“The results of the meeting were as expected,” said Junko Nishioka, chief economist for Japan at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. “The fact that Kataoka threw in a dissenting vote was a surprise, but I believe his stance is not that he’s against the easing policy itself, but rather that the volume of the measures is lacking.”
The economy grew well above expectation in the second quarter, growing at a revised annualized rate of 2.5 percent, previously reported as 4 percent. While unemployment rate plunged to its lowest in more than two decades. With this progress, the governor of the Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda is betting that inflation rate will rise from 0.5 percent recorded in July to toward the bank’s target.
However, most experts doubt BOJ will attain 2 percent inflation rate by 2019 with the weak wage growth and low unemployment rate that has failed to pressure prices or workers’ turnover to compel employers to raise wages.
The Yen fell against the US dollar to two months low of 112.57 on Thursday.