BOJ Holds on Boosting Stimulus

The Bank of Japan refrained from boosting monetary stimulus even after inflation came to a halt, with Governor Haruhiko Kuroda betting it will re-emerge as the impact from cheaper oil fades.

The central bank kept a plan to expand the monetary base at an 80 trillion yen ($672 billion) annual pace, as forecast by 32 of 34 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Later today, the BOJ will present updated inflation and growth forecasts and Kuroda will conduct a press briefing.

Holding off for now gives Kuroda time to gauge whether weakness in the U.S. and China last quarter will reverse following American job gains and Chinese stimulus. At the same time, today’s decision — following evidence of declines in consumer spending and industrial output in March that underscored a muted Japanese rebound — raises the risk of escalating political pressure to do more.