BoJ summary of opinions at March 8-9 policy meeting showed no change in the board’s stance on monetary policy. Generally speaking “powerful monetary easing” will be maintained as it’s “still a long way” to meet 2% inflation target. There were concerns of Yen’s appreciation and stocks’ decline as they would “constrain wages and prices” and risk delaying of meeting price target. the board also saw the need to explain the difference between “normalization” and “tightening” even though it’s not in the phase to consider normalization. So we’ll likely hear more rhetorics from BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda ahead regarding exit. Yet he’ll repeat and repeat that it’s not there for exit yet.
Some quote highlights:-
- If the current trends of the appreciation of the yen and the decline in stock prices become prolonged, business fixed investment and consumption will be restrained due to negative wealth effects and a deterioration of households’ and firms’ balance sheets, and the profits of export industries will decrease due to the adverse effects on exports. As these will constrain wages and prices, there will be a risk of a delay in achieving the price stability target.
- The year-on-year rate of change in the consumer price index (CPI) is likely to continue on an uptrend and increase toward 2 percent, mainly on the back of an improvement in the output gap and a rise in medium- to long-term inflation expectations.
- In terms of projecting price developments, the key is to what extent wage developments after the annual spring labor-management wage negotiations will improve individual firms’ price-setting stance and consumers’ acceptance of price rises.
- Considering that there is still a long way to go to achieve the price stability target of 2 percent, it is appropriate to pursue powerful monetary easing with persistence under the current guideline for market operations in order to firmly maintain the momentum toward achieving the price stability target
- This is not the phase in which the Bank should consider “normalization” — that is, gradually reducing the degree of monetary accommodation — in a concrete manner. However, the Bank needs to explain to market participants so that they can fully understand that “normalization” is still in the process of monetary accommodation and completely different from monetary tightening, which aims at reducing the positive output gap. Such explanation will also be beneficial in smoothly proceeding with “normalization” in the future.
- If there is a heightened risk that achieving the price stability target will be delayed, additional monetary easing will be needed