BOJ’s Kuroda: Still far to go to reach 2% inflation target – 9 Jun 2017

  • The Bank of Japan has far to go to reach its 2% inflation target, but its ultra-loose monetary policy has helped stabilise public inflation expectations, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on 8 Jun 17.
  • Japanese core consumer prices rose just 0.3% y/y in Apr 17, as companies remain wary of raising prices for fear of scaring away price-sensitive households. Wage growth also remains tame, dashing central bankers’ hopes that a tightening job market will lead to higher wages and give households more income to spend.
  • Part of the problem is the size of Japan’s elderly population. Kuroda noted that about one-third of the population are pensioners, who are less keen to see prices rising and eating into the value of their pension payments.
  • But the main downward pressure on Japanese inflation had come from falling global oil prices, he said, adding that the global economy had remained weak in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008.
  • Kuroda defended the central bank’s so-called “quantitative and qualitative easing” programme of heavy asset buying, saying it had helped stabilise inflation expectations.

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