The Korea Herald


Bank of Japan holds fire on fresh stimulus despite sinking economy

By 황장진

Published : Oct. 30, 2015 - 13:58

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TOKYO (AFP) - The Bank of Japan Friday held fire on expanding its massive stimulus programme despite more weak data as the world's number three economy teeters on the edge of recession.

In a short statement following a closely watched meeting, the BoJ said it would hold steady on its record 80 trillion yen ($665 billion) annual asset-buying scheme.

The central bank also releases its semi-annual inflation and growth projections later in the day, with speculation mounting that it will roll back its outlook as weakness overseas, particularly in China, hurt Japan's prospects.

Japan posted weak inflation and household spending figures earlier Friday that had pointed to the BoJ possibly unleashing another wave of stimulus to counter the downturn.

Friday's policy meeting came a year after the bank shocked markets by expanding the programme, which was launched in April 2013 in a bid to stoke growth and ramp up inflation to 2.0 percent in two years.

BoJ monetary easing is a cornerstone of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's growth blitz, dubbed "Abenomics", which has faltered after intially setting off a stock market rally and weakening the yen, giving a lift to corporate profits.

After the announcement the dollar fell to 120.63 yen from 121.10 yen in New York Thursday, while the euro dipped to 132.46 yen from 132.96 yen.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index fell further in the minutes after the announcement, but quickly bounced back into positive territory, sitting

0.33 percent higher in the afternoon.

Japan has suffered as exports to key trading partner China slumped, with the weak inflation and consumer spending at home also slamming the brakes on growth.

The economy contracted in the second quarter and it is on track for another decline in the three months to September.

Abe has struggled in his efforts to cut red tape and shake up the regulated economy, with the wider impact of his programme being limited.