IMF tells BOJ: Get ready to ease

Oh how quickly things change.

Just last month, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda insisted there was no need for more monetary easings.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday said, “bull.”

BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda

BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda

The IMF said if the BOJ wants to get Japan’s inflation near its target of 2% it should be ready to ease monetary policy further and soon.

Abenomics, the economic plan by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has been famously described as having three arrows to shoot to help spark Japan’s economy. Monetary easing was one arrow, but the government hadn’t expected to reshoot it.

However, in the second quarter Japan’s economy contracted and in August it posted the first annual drop in core consumer prices in two years, throwing the whole enterprise into doubt. With the Chinese economic slowdown lowering demand for Japanese goods, the third quarter isn’t expected be any better.

In its World Economic Outlook report, the IMF said the near-term prospects for Japan’s economic activity have “weakened,” and inflation expectations are substantially below the central bank’s target.

“The Bank of Japan should stand ready for further easing,” said the global lender.

The IMF revised it forecasts for Japan’s economic growth down from July by 0.2%. It now expects growth of 0.6% this year and 1% for 2016.

The BOJ meets on Wednesday, but most pundits expect it to do nothing. However, on Oct. 30, the bank holds a crucial policy meeting and many expect the rate cut to occur then.



Categories: Asia Unhedged, Japan

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