BOJ Keeps Policy Steady

The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady and largely maintained its upbeat inflation forecasts on Wednesday, even as soft exports and household spending forced it to trim its economic growth projection slightly.

At a quarterly review of its long-term estimates, the BOJ cut its growth forecast for the year ending in March 2016 to a 1.7 percent increase from the 2.0 percent expansion it forecast in April.

As widely expected, the BOJ reiterated its pledge to increase base money, or cash and deposits at the central bank, at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen ($648 billion) through purchases of government bonds and risky assets.