BoJ stands pat on easing, says winning deflation battle
January 22, 2014 00:00
TOKYO - The Bank of Japan on Wednesday held off announcing any fresh measures to stimulate the economy, saying its monetary easing blitz was winning the war on deflation.
The unanimous decision was widely expected, with analysts predicting the BoJ would launch an expansion of its asset-buying plan later this year to counter the effects of an April sales tax hike.
While the increase is seen as crucial to chopping Japan's eye-watering national debt -- proportionately the worst among rich nations -- there are fears it will derail its economic recovery.
The BoJ kept its forecast for the long-sluggish economy to expand about 2.7 percent in the year to March, saying it "continued to recover moderately", while it also stuck with its 2.0 percent inflation target.
The BoJ's monetary policy "will support the positive movements in economic activity and financial markets, contribute to a rise in inflation expectations, and lead Japan's economy to overcome the deflation that has lasted for nearly 15 years," it said in a statement.