BOJ Minutes: Still Uncertain it can Prod Inflation to Life

The Bank of Japan’s decision makers expect private consumption will remain resilient as incomes are improving, but they remained concerned their 2 percent inflation goal would be difficult to keep, meeting minutes show.

Some members said consumer price inflation wouldn’t reach the target in fiscal 2017, although they agreed that longer term inflation expectations appear to be rising, the minutes of last month’s meeting show. The BOJ has pushed back its timeline for reaching its inflation target to fiscal 2016 and minutes show members expect to tap the target then.

But they were concerned that the risks to prices were on the downside, agreeing that if consumer price inflation fell to zero, it would affect inflation expectations. In March, data showed the consumer inflation rate rose just 0.2 percent, excluding the impact of last year’s sales tax hike.