BoJ left monetary policy unchanged as widely expected. Under the yield curve control framework, short-term policy interest rate is held at -0.1%. Annual pace of monetary base expansion is held at around JPY 80T, to keep 10-year JGB yields at around zero percent. Harada Yutaka and Kataoka Goushi dissented again in 7-2 vote.

In the new economic projections, fiscal 2020 growth forecast was raised from 0.7% to 0.9%. CPI core forecast (ex-sales tax hike) was lowered from 1.0% to 0.9%. For fiscal 2021, growth forecast was raised from 1.0% to 1.1%. CPI core forecast was lowered form 1.5% to 1.4%. BoJ added that risks to economic activity and prices are both “skewed to the downside”. Momentum toward achieving 2% inflation target is “maintained by is not yet sufficiently firm”.

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BoJ statement, outlook for economic activity and prices.

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