Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Kiyohiko Nishimura said the central bank is ready to implement additional easing if necessary, fueling speculation that further loosening is likely this month.
“The bank is committed to implementing additional easing measures, if deemed necessary,” Nishimura said in a speech today in Okayama, western Japan. “It is vital to make efforts both to firmly support the recently observed upward momentum toward economic recovery and to strengthen growth potential.”
Nishimura’s comments will encourage speculation that the central bank will expand its asset-purchase fund for the second time in three months, economist Mari Iwashita said. The central bank will hold a meeting on April 27 to review an estimate that prices will rise 0.5 percent in the fiscal year starting next April, compared with a goal of 1 percent inflation.
“Nishimura is signaling the BOJ is serious about easing,” said Iwashita, chief market economist at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo.“His comments reinforced a view that the BOJ will take additional accommodative policies this month.”