BOJ keeps easing policy, trims inflation forecast

NHK -- Apr 28
The Bank of Japan has decided to press on with its massive monetary easing program to help steer the economy through the coronavirus pandemic.

The BOJ made the decision at a two-day policy meeting that ended on Tuesday.

It announced it would maintain its negative short-term interest rate and continue buying unlimited amounts of government bonds.

The central bank says it will keep supporting companies suffering from the pandemic.

It says it will closely monitor the pandemic's effects on the economy, and is ready to take more easing measures as needed.

The BOJ also released its quarterly economic report.

Officials expect the consumer price index, which excludes fresh food, for the fiscal year that started this month to rise just 0.1 percent, down from the January forecast of 0.5 percent.

It gave its inflation outlook for fiscal 2023 for the first time. The median forecast is 1 percent. That would be up from 0.8 percent expected for the next fiscal year.

It means BOJ Governor Kuroda Haruhiko's goal to achieve 2 percent inflation appears unlikely before his term expires in April 2023.