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BOJ May Include Companies’ Price Outlooks in Tankan Survey

The Bank of Japan may include companies’ views on prices in its Tankan survey of sentiment as it looks to gain a broader view of how more than a decade of deflation is affecting the economy.

The central bank said in a statement yesterday that it is considering asking companies for their one-, three- and five-year price forecasts in the quarterly survey, which it uses when setting monetary policy.

The data would help rectify a lack of information on medium- to long-term price forecasts by Japanese firms, the BOJ said. The Tankan, which started in 1957 and surveys over 10,000 companies, is the country’s most closely watched gauge of corporate sentiment.

The bank will seek public opinion on the proposal and decide whether to proceed after Jan. 21. It plans to implement the revision sometime around the first half of 2014 at the earliest, according to the statement.

The BOJ revised down its inflation forecasts on Oct. 30 after Japan’s consumer prices fell for a fifth month in September. It expects prices excluding fresh food to rise by 0.8 percent in the fiscal year that begins in April 2014, compared with a 1 percent target announced in February.

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