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BoJ Seen Standing Pat

BoJ Seen Standing PatBoJ Seen Standing Pat

The Bank of Japan is expected to keep monetary policy steady on Thursday and stress that inflation is nowhere near levels that justify talk of withdrawing massive stimulus, as weak consumer spending casts a cloud over an otherwise healthy pick-up in the economy.

Many BoJ officials say they are more confident about prospects of economic recovery as exports and factory output benefit from improving global demand, Reuters reported.

But they see more to fret about on consumer prices, as budding growth in some sectors is not generating inflation.

In a sign that companies remain wary of raising the prices of their goods due to weak consumer spending, prices apart from fuel and food have shown scant signs of life.

At the two-day rate review that ends on Thursday, the BoJ is expected to maintain its short-term interest rate target at minus 0.1% and a pledge to guide the 10-year government bond yield around 0% via aggressive asset purchases.

Analysts also expect the BoJ to keep intact a loose pledge to maintain the pace of its annual increase in Japanese government bond, which is 80 trillion yen ($696.62 billion).

At his post-meeting news conference, BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is likely to stress that the central bank has no plan to raise its yield targets any time soon with inflation distant from its 2% target.

Core consumer prices rose for the first time in over a year in January and many analysts expect inflation to accelerate toward 1% later this year, due largely to a rebound in energy costs and rising import prices from a weak yen.

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