The following is a reformatted version of the full text of the policy statement released today by the Bank of Japan in Tokyo.
1. At the Monetary Policy Meeting held today, the Policy Board of the Bank of Japan decided, by a unanimous vote, to set the following guideline for money market operations for the intermeeting period:
The Bank of Japan will conduct money market operations so that the monetary base will increase at an annual pace of about 60-70 trillion yen.
2. With regard to the asset purchases, the bank will continue with the following guidelines: a) The bank will purchase Japanese government bonds (JGBs) so that their amount outstanding will increase at an annual pace of about 50 trillion yen, and the average remaining maturity of the Bank’s JGB purchases will be about seven years. b) The Bank will purchase exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Japan real estate investment trusts (J-REITs) so that their amounts outstanding will increase at an annual pace of about 1 trillion yen and about 30 billion yen respectively. c) As for CP and corporate bonds, the bank will continue with those asset purchases until their amounts outstanding reach 2.2 trillion yen and 3.2 trillion yen respectively by end-2013; thereafter, it will maintain those amounts outstanding.
3. Japan’s economy is starting to recover moderately. Overseas economies as a whole are gradually heading toward a pick-up, although a lackluster performance is partly seen. In this situation, exports have been picking up. Business fixed investment has stopped weakening and shown some signs of picking up as corporate profits have improved. Public investment has continued to increase, and the pick-up in housing investment has become evident. Private consumption has remained resilient, assisted by the improvement in consumer sentiment. Reflecting these developments in demand both at home and abroad, industrial production is increasing moderately. Meanwhile, financial conditions are accommodative. On the price front, the year-on-year rate of change in the consumer price index (CPI, all items less fresh food) has turned positive. Inflation expectations appear to be rising on the whole.
4. With regard to the outlook, Japan’s economy is expected to recover moderately on the back of the resilience in domestic demand and the pick-up in overseas economies. The year-on-year rate of increase in the CPI is likely to rise gradually.
5. Regarding risks, there remains a high degree of uncertainty concerning Japan’s economy, including the prospects for the European debt problem, developments in the emerging and commodity-exporting economies, and the pace of recovery in the U.S. economy.
6. The Bank will continue with quantitative and qualitative monetary easing, aiming to achieve the price stability target of 2 percent, as long as it is necessary for maintaining that target in a stable manner. It will examine both upside and downside risks to economic activity and prices, and make adjustments as appropriate.
Such conduct of monetary policy will support the positive movements in economic activity and financial markets, contribute to a rise in inflation expectations, and lead Japan’s economy to overcome the deflation that has lasted for nearly 15 years.
Note: Mr. T. Kiuchi proposed that the Bank will aim to achieve the price stability target of 2 percent in the medium to long term and designate quantitative and qualitative monetary easing as an intensive measure with a time frame of about two years. The proposal was defeated by an 8-1 majority vote. Voting for the proposal: Mr. T. Kiuchi. Voting against the proposal: Mr. H. Kuroda, Mr. K. Iwata, Mr. H. Nakaso, Mr. R. Miyao, Mr. Y. Morimoto, Ms. S. Shirai, Mr. K. Ishida, and Mr. T. Sato.
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