The Bank of Japan maintained record easing, keeping ammunition as an April sales-tax bump threatens to trigger the deepest one-quarter contraction since the March 2011 earthquake.
The BOJ kept a pledge to expand the monetary base at a pace of 60 trillion to 70 trillion yen ($677 billion) per year, the central bank said in a statement in Tokyo today, in line with all but one forecast in a Bloomberg News poll of 34 economists. One predicted a boost in stimulus.
Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is predicted to face the biggest obstacle yet to his bid to generate 2 percent inflation as the first sales levy increase in 17 years squeezes households and businesses. Seventy-three percent of economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast the BOJ will add to easing by the end of September to support the world’s third-biggest economy.