News ID: 215098
Published: 0753 GMT May 15, 2018

Tame Japan inflation to push back BoJ's stimulus exit plans

Tame Japan inflation to push back BoJ's stimulus exit plans

Japan's central bank is likely to wait longer than initially expected to exit its super-easy stimulus, a Reuters poll of economists showed with almost half predicting that it won't happen until 2020 or later given sluggish inflation.

For years, the Bank of Japan has desperately tried to fan inflation to a target of two percent by heavy buying of bonds and other assets and, more recently, capping borrowing costs at around zero percent. But consumer inflation has remained stuck at about one percent, Reuters wrote.

Of 37 economists surveyed, 16 expect the BoJ will finally start to unwind that ultra-easy policy sometime next year, down from 18 in the April survey.

Sixteen said it will happen in 2020 or later, up from 12 analysts in last month's survey. The remaining respondents projected either October or December this year.

"The pace of increases in consumer prices is more moderate than expected. It's hard to see the BoJ exiting the current policy for a while," said Takumi Tsunoda, senior economist at Shinkin Central Bank Research Institute.

Last month, the central bank ditched its timeframe to achieve that inflation target, a move analysts said is aimed at keeping market expectations for more stimulus in check.

Economists said policymakers and other experts will be watching to see if recent annual wage hikes in the two-three percent range translate into higher consumer spending, said Bjørn Tangaa Sillemann, analyst at Danske Bank.

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