Japan's Finance Minister Says BOJ Unlikely to Expand Easing Now

  • Aso cites a surplus of money in the economy, weak demand
  • Kuroda said Friday the BOJ will adjust policy as needed

Japan’s central bank is unlikely to expand its unprecedented economic stimulus for now, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said, citing a surplus of money in the economy and weak domestic demand.

“At this point, the government is not thinking about anything like that, and probably the Bank of Japan will not undertake additional monetary easing right now,” Aso said in an interview with public broadcaster NHK that aired Friday evening in Tokyo. The comments were confirmed by a Finance Ministry official who asked not to be identified.

Taro Aso

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

The number of economists predicting an expansion of stimulus at the BOJ’s Oct. 30 meeting rose above 40 percent in Bloomberg’s latest survey from about 30 percent a month earlier. The BOJ’s preferred inflation gauge dropped below zero in August for the first time since April 2013, the month that Governor Haruhiko Kuroda launched his quantitative-and-qualitative easing program.

Kuroda said Friday that monetary easing is having the intended effects and the economy has continued to recover modestly, even as he reiterated that the central bank stands ready to adjust policy as needed.