Bank of Japan Preview: Forecasts from seven major banks, a dovish hold
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) will hold its policy meeting on Friday, March 18 at 03:00 GMT, and as we get closer to the release time, here are the expectations forecast by the economists and researchers of seven major banks.
The BoJ is set to maintain its current accommodative policy stance while the assessment of growth and inflation is in focus.
“We expect the BoJ to keep the policy rate on hold. Japan is not currently under inflationary pressure, and considering the external risk, it is likely to normalize monetary policy only gradually.”
“The BoJ is expected to keep its policy rate unchanged. Inflation has gone up rapidly over the past few months, but still remains below the BoJ’s target and lags the global upward trend.”
“The BoJ meeting is likely to be a non-event though there is a strong likelihood that the Bank downgrades its economic assessment. BoJ stance on increased inflationary pressure in focus.”
“It’s clear from recent official comments that the bank is not too concerned about higher inflation as it is viewed as a temporary spike from energy prices. Instead, some have focused on weak wage growth as a major reason to remain dovish. We fully expect a dovish hold. The April 27/28 meeting should provide more clues to future policy, as FY24 will be added to the forecast horizon then.”
“The BoJ is expected to hold the key rate steady but there is a chance of economic assessment being downgraded.”
“The focus will be on Governor Kuroda’s view about the recent depreciation of the yen, given media reports that the Kishida administration is increasingly concerned about yen weakness. However, Kuroda’s recent comments tying BoJ policy to a covid recovery suggest an end to NIRP or shift to a shorter YCC target maturity (from 10yr to 5yr) are unlikely as responses to yen depreciation. Widening the target range for the 10yr JGB yield (currently +/-0.25%) may be an option though the BoJ has conducted fixed-rate operations in 2022 to keep yields below the upper end of this range (+25bps) and a sudden move to widen the target range in response to yen depreciation would therefore reduce confidence in the BoJ’s commitment.”
“There appears little likelihood as yet that the BoJ will take any measures that argue for a stronger JPY. But if it were to surprise with a strong focus on the odds of cost-push inflation turning into a more persistent source of price pressure, the wider consensus on an ever-weaker JPY would see a clear challenge.”