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 maintain their amounts outstanding at about 2.2 trillion yen and about 3.2 trillion yen respectively.
3. Japan’s economy has continued to recover moderately, and a front-loaded increase in demand prior to the consumption tax hike has recently been observed. Overseas economies -- mainly advanced economies -- are starting to recover, although a lackluster performance is still seen in part. In this situation, exports have generally been picking up. Business fixed investment has been picking up as corporate profits have improved. Public investment has continued to increase. With improvement in the employment and income situation, housing investment has continued to increase and private consumption has remained resilient; in these segments of the economy, the front-loaded increase in demand prior to the consumption tax hike has also been observed. Reflecting these developments in demand both at home and abroad, industrial production has been increasing moderately. Meanwhile, financial conditions are accommodative. On the price front, the year-on-year rate of increase in the consumer price index (CPI, all items less fresh food) is around 1 1/4 percent. Inflation expectations appear to be rising on the whole.
4. With regard to the outlook, Japan’s economy is expected to continue a moderate recovery as a trend, while it will be affected by the front-loaded increase and subsequent decline in demand prior to and after the consumption tax hike. The year-on-year rate of increase in the CPI, excluding the direct effects of the consumption tax hike, is likely to be around 1 1/4 percent for some time.
5. Compared with the forecasts presented in the October 2013 Outlook for Economic Activity and Prices, the growth rate and year-on-year rate of increase in the CPI will likely be broadly in line with the October forecasts.
6. Risks to the outlook include developments in the emerging and commodity-exporting economies, the prospects for the European debt problem, and the pace of recovery in the U.S. economy.
7. 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 1 Ms. S. Shirai dissented from the description in paragraph 6, suggesting that the pace of improvement in the employment and income situation in Japan should be added.
Note 2 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.