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TOKYO (MNI) - Some Bank of Japan board members voiced concern over the
outlook for the global economy, the summary of opinions expressed at the bank's
Dec. 19-20 policy meeting released Friday showed, but the board saw no imminent
need to take additional policy action.
There was also concern expressed by certain members over the outlook for
Japan's inflation rate.
One member said that the BOJ has room to review the management of its
purchases of Japanese government bonds, as the stock-effects from the huge bond
holding are increasing. But the person didn't elaborate on how the BOJ would its
The BOJ board decided to stand pat on monetary policy, voting 7-2 to leave
yield curve control and asset purchases unchanged, with the board seeing Japan's
economy still expanding moderately, despite downside risks.
The BOJ vowed to maintain its current easy policy "for an extended period
of time," taking into account uncertainties regarding economic activity and
prices, including the effects of the consumption tax hike planned for October
Other key points from the summary of opinions:
--"Downside risks to the outlook have been heightening amid growing
uncertainties in the global economy, including the trade friction between the
U.S. and China."
--"Japan's economy is expanding moderately. While tight supply-demand
conditions have been encouraging expansion of production capacity, it is
necessary to pay attention to increasing downside risks to overseas economies."
--As for the global economy, "Risks have been titled to the downside on the
whole amid heightening uncertainties and a prevailing view that such situation
will be protracted."
--The latest data on trade activities in China, "both exports and imports
marked negative growth on a month-on-month basis, which possibly indicates a
deceleration in the Chinese economy."
--On Japan's inflation rate, "The impact of a decline in crude oil prices
on inflation will be a matter of concern going forward."
--"While upward pressure on inflation resulting from a positive output gap
and the constraining effects on inflation accompanying factors such as a rise in
productivity have affected each other in a complex manner, a rise in inflation
has been delayed and uncertainties regarding the outlook have been heightening."
--"There is a low possibility that the output gap will continue to widen
within positive territory going forward, and a decline in crude oil prices also
will contribute to further delaying the achievement of the price stability
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