Japan Inc. Inflation Expectations Decline as Confidence Wanes

Japanese companies cut their forecasts for inflation for the next five years from now, indicating that even after adopting a negative-rate policy, the Bank of Japan is struggling to persuade businesses that sustained price gains will take hold.

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Companies project 1.2 percent of inflation at this time in five years, down from 1.4 percent estimated in December, according to a BOJ Tankan report for March released Monday. In three years, they expect 1.3 percent price growth, and 0.8 percent in one years.

The cuts reflects weak corporate sentiment, which last month dropped the most since just before Governor Haruhiko Kuroda launched his unprecedented stimulus program three years ago. Credit Suisse Group and Capital Economics are among those projecting additional action by the BOJ later this month.

“There is no sign of clear improvement in the inflation outlook among companies,” Daiju Aoki, an economist at UBS Group, said before Monday’s report was released. “They are worried about a strong yen and a volatile markets.”

The inflation outlook among companies across all industries hasn’t surpassed the level marked since the BOJ began collecting the data in March 2014.

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