BOJ policymakers saw prospects of quicker recovery in April – minutes



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask walks past the headquarters of the Bank of Japan amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Tokyo, Japan, May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) – Bank of Japan board members agreed that the massive stimulus measures deployed by advanced nations may help quicken the pace of recovery in the Japanese and global economies, minutes of their April policy-setting meeting showed on Wednesday.

The upbeat assessment on the outlook reinforces market expectations that the central bank in the world’s third-biggest economy will keep monetary settings unchanged for the time being, in the hope its ultra-loose policy and coronavirus pandemic-relief programmes will sustain a moderate recovery.

“There is uncertainty over the pace and effect of coronavirus vaccinations, which could heighten downward pressure on economic activity,” board members were quoted in the minutes as saying.

“But there’s a chance the stimulus measures taken by advanced nations could quicken the pace of recovery in domestic and overseas economies.”

One of the nine board members said there was even a chance Japan’s economic growth may be pushed up sharply as consumers boost demand after the pandemic subsides, the minutes showed.

At the April meeting, the BOJ kept monetary settings intact and projected that inflation will miss its 2% target well beyond Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s current term ending in 2023.

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