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MNI BRIEF: Economic Recovery Delay Risk On Covid-19: BOJ

MNI (Tokyo)

Summary of opinions on the economy from the Bank of Japan's July meeting.

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Continued weak employment and stock prices have combined with a resurgence in Covid-19 cases poses a delay risk to a full-fledged economic recovery, one Bank of Japan board member said in a summary released on Wednesday of opinions at the July policy meeting, though others said a quicker pace of vaccinations and rising commodity input prices bear watching. (see: MNI BRIEF: BOJ On Hold, Won't Hesitate To Take More Easing - 16 July).

"Despite rising international commodity prices, no significant change has been seen in inflation expectations, and they are not yet strong enough to achieve the price stability target," one board member said. (see: MNI BRIEF: BOJ Ups FY21 CPI View But Lowers FY21 GDP - 16 July).

A separate board member said that further downward pressure stemming from the spread of Covid-19 remains a risk. "On the other hand, if the vaccine rollout accelerates, it could improve by more than expected," the board member said. (see: MNI BRIEF: BOJ Amamiya: Must Persistently Maintain Easy Policy - 21 July).

Other members highlighted continued vigilance on "stagnant improvement in employment and subdued stock prices compared with those in Europe and the United States" and international commodity prices, particularly for crude oil, and the impact on producer price inputs and households. (see: MNI BRIEF: Amamiya: High Costs Not A Big Impact For Firms - 21 July).