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BOJ won't hesitate to ease more to hit price goal: Iwata

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Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata said on Wednesday the central bank won't hesitate to expand stimulus if needed to sustain the economy's momentum towards achieving its 2 per cent inflation target.

[NAGASAKI, Japan] Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata said on Wednesday the central bank won't hesitate to expand stimulus if needed to sustain the economy's momentum towards achieving its 2 per cent inflation target.

Mr Iwata also stressed the BOJ's resolve to continue its huge purchases of government bonds even under a new policy framework that targets interest rates. "I would like to emphasise that the BOJ will continue expanding the monetary base in the future under its new policy framework," Mr Iwata said in a speech to business leaders in Nagasaki, southern Japan.

The BOJ switched its policy target to interest rates from the pace of money printing in September, after years of massive asset purchases failed to jolt the economy out of stagnation.

Mr Iwata shrugged off a predominant market view the BOJ was now putting less emphasis on pumping money aggressively, stressing the central bank remained committed to using both rate cuts and asset purchases as key tools to revive the economy.

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"The BOJ has been consistently pursuing powerful monetary easing both in terms of quantity (of asset purchases) and interest rates. There is no change to this stance," he said. "The BOJ will take additional easing measures without hesitation if judged necessary to maintain the momentum toward achieving 2 per cent inflation," Mr Iwata said.

The central bank pushed back the timeframe of hitting its ambitious 2 per cent inflation target in October, as weak consumption and falling import costs from a strong yen weigh on price growth.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has maintained his optimistic view of Japan's economy, saying it is likely to expand moderately as exports and output rebound, reflecting an expected improvement in overseas demand.

REUTERS

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