Reuters-By Leika Kihara
A man wearing a protective mask walks past the headquarters of the Bank of Japan amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Tokyo, Japan, May 22, 2020.REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
TOKYO, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Thursday any future debate on an exit from ultra-loose monetary policy will centre on the pace of increase in short-term interest rates and adjustments in the bank’s massive balance sheet.
Kuroda brushed aside the chance of a near-term interest rate hike, stressing that the BOJ must continue to underpin a fragile economic recovery with loose monetary policy.
But he said the BOJ can debate an exit strategy from its massive stimulus and head toward policy normalisation when achievement of its 2% inflation target, accompanied by wage increases, comes into sight.
“It’s premature to lay out details of an exit strategy. But one major factor of debate will be the pace of increase in the BOJ’s short-term policy rate, now set at -0.1%,” Kuroda told parliament.
“Another factor would be how to adjust its balance sheet,” he said, adding that most major central banks were moving ahead with rate hikes, before shifting toward a full-blow decrease in their balance sheets.
Kuroda said wages are likely to increase ahead as companies respond to intensifying labour shortages and recent rises in living costs, though the outlook remained highly uncertain.
“It’s extremely important for the BOJ to underpin the economy with ultra-loose monetary policy and ensure the necessary environment is falling into place for companies to hike wages,” Kuroda said.
Under its yield curve control (YCC) policy, the BOJ guides short-term rates at -0.1% and caps the 10-year bond yield around zero as part of efforts to sustainably achieve its 2% inflation target.
Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Himani Sarkar & Shri Navaratnam
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.