BoJ Holds Ultra-Low Interest Rates, Raises 2022 Inflation Forecast

Cyclists travel past Tokyo Gas Co. storage tanks at the company's Hiranuma facility in Yokohama, Japan, on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Japan’s imports jumped 31% in March from a year ago to a record value, led by crude oil, coal and natural gas, and that will translate into higher power bills in the nation that relies heavily on others for its energy resources. Photographer: Toru Hanai/Bloomberg

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) held interest rates at record lows as expected on Friday, and said inflation is likely to rise more in the near-term as the Japanese economy struggles with elevated raw material costs and supply chain issues The central bank held its target for short-term interest rates at negative 0.1%, and said in a statement that it will continue to guide the 10-year bond yield at 0%.The central bank now expects CPI inflation to end the year at 3%, higher than its previous forecast of 2.3%. But it also expects inflation to ease to around 1.5% in 2023 and 2024 Japan’s CPI inflation hit an eight-year high of 3% in September, trending above the BoJ’s target 2% range for a fifth consecutive month amid rising fuel and food prices. Rising raw material prices also saw local businesses pass on the costs to customers Data released earlier on Friday showed that inflation in Tokyo hit a 33-year high of 3.4% in October. The figure acts as a precursor to the nationwide inflation reading for the month.

BoJ Holds Ultra-Low Interest Rates

The Elevated inflation Figures Are Expected To Test The BoJ’s Dovish Stance.

particularly its view that 2022’s inflation spike will be temporary The central bank said it will continue to enact asset purchases to boost liquidity levels, with lingering headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic and global recession fears furthering the need for accommodative policy The move comes largely in line with the BoJ’s dovish stance, given that the central bank has kept short-term interest rates negative for over seven years The bank is alone among its developed world peers in maintaining ultra-low interest rates. The European Central Bank on Thursday hiked rates sharply, while the Federal Reserve is set to also hike rates next week as both economies struggle with elevated inflation levels The BoJ’s dovish stance has severely dented the Japanese yen, with the currency recently hitting its weakest level in 32 years. Depreciation in the yen has also exacerbated local inflation levels.

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