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BOJ keeps ultraeasy monetary policy

Kyodo

The Bank of Japan said Wednesday it will maintain its ultraeasy monetary policy and keep unchanged its consumer price outlook for fiscal 2015 at 1.9 percent, near its 2 percent inflation target aimed at beating deflation.

The nine-member Policy Board unanimously decided that the bank will continue with its large-scale monetary easing policy introduced in April, centering on doubling the monetary base and boosting the purchase of government bonds.

After reviewing its semiannual economic outlook issued in October, the BOJ slightly lowered its estimate for the nation’s growth in fiscal 2014 to 1.4 percent from the 1.5 percent forecast in October, while keeping intact its growth estimates for this fiscal year at 2.7 percent and fiscal 2015 at 1.5 percent.

The BOJ retained its price outlook for this year, ending March 31, and fiscal 2014, expecting core consumer prices excluding fresh foods to rise 0.7 percent this year and 1.3 percent next year. The fiscal 2014 projection excludes the impact of the 3-percentage-point sales tax hike coming in April.