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April 26, 2019

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Japan losing its battle for 2% inflation

Japan will fail to hit its 2 percent inflation target even by 2022, the central bank predicted yesterday as it also revised down its estimate for growth in the world’s third-largest economy.

In its closely watched quarterly report, the Bank of Japan forecast inflation of 1.6 percent in the fiscal year ending March 2022, meaning its years-long battle to reignite prices is far from won. The BOJ lowered its inflation forecast for the year to March 2021 to 1.3 percent from 1.4 percent.

Japanese inflation stands below 1 percent, less than halfway to target, despite six years of aggressive monetary stimulus under BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

Economic growth would also come in at 0.8 percent this fiscal year, climbing to 0.9 percent the year after — both downward revisions of 0.1 percentage points, the central bank said in the latest report.

The BOJ kept its ultra-loose monetary policy in place after a two-day policy board meeting but added a fresh timeframe, saying the “extremely low” rates would be maintained “at least through around spring 2020.” It cited global economic uncertainties and the risks of a scheduled hike in consumption tax this year from 8 percent to 10 percent.


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