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Barbara Ruszel Economist
Tel: 902-424-1848Email:

December 20, 2018

The Policy Board of the Bank of Japan announced today that it will maintain a short term policy interest rate of negative 0.1 per cent on balances held by financial institutions with the Bank.  The Bank will continue its purchases of Japanese Government Bonds in order to keep 10-year yields at around zero per cent.  These bond purchases will be flexible, with amounts outstanding rising by about 80 trillion yen per year.   The Bank will continue purchasing exchange-traded funds at 6 trillion yen per year and real estate investment trusts at 90 billion yen per year. Commercial paper (2.2 trillion yen) and corporate bond (3.2 trillion yen) holdings by the Bank will be maintained.

The Bank strengthened its commitment to the price stability target by announcing forward guidance for policy rates.  Current extremely low levels of short and long term interest rates will be maintained for an extended period of time.  This considers ongoing uncertainties, including the scheduled increase of the consumption tax in October 2019.   

The Bank of Japan notes that the economy is expanding moderately as higher income generates ongoing rises in spending.  Improving global economic conditions are lifting Japan's exports.  Domestic activity has been fuelled by rising business investment driven by strong corporate profits and business confidence.   Residential and public investment growth, however, remains flat.  Although labour market conditions are tight, price growth remains around 1 per cent and inflation expectations are unchanged.  


Source: Bank of Japan's Statement on Monetary Policy

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