Bank of Japan keeps monetary policy unchanged, inflation target remains distant

TOKYO, June 16 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Friday decided to keep its monetary policy unchanged in a bid to shore up the economy and continue with its reflationary efforts.

The central bank's policy board voted 7-2 to maintain its interest rate at minus 0.1 percent and opted to maintain its efforts to keep the yield on 10-year Japanese government bonds around zero percent.

The Bank of Japan at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting also opted to keep asset purchases at around the current target of 80 trillion yen (720.4 billion U.S. dollars).

The BOJ raised its economic assessment and increased its real gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for the 2017-18 fiscal year to 1.6 percent from the 1.5 percent forecast in January.

"Japan's economy has been turning toward a moderate expansion. Overseas economies have continued to grow at a moderate pace on the whole," the BOJ said in a statement Thursday.

The bank, however, lowered its core consumer price index (CPI) growth forecast to 1.4 percent from 1.5 percent in the same period, however.

"The bank will continue with 'quantitative and qualitative monetary easing, with yield-curve control,' aiming to achieve the price stability target of 2 percent, as long as it is necessary for maintaining the target in a stable manner," the central bank said.

According to the latest statistics, Japan's core consumer price index for April rose 0.3 percent on year to 100.1, marking the fourth straight month of increase, but the rate of increase is still far from the central bank's target of 2 percent annual inflation.

The Bank of Japan's decision to continue its aggressive monetary easing program comes as the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its own key interest rates on Wednesday for the second time this year.

The European Central Bank is also likely to exit from its monetary easing program in the weeks to come, economists believe.

[ Editor: Xueying ]


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