The Bank of Japan on Thursday lifted its assessment of the Japanese economy for the seventh consecutive month and stated it is “starting to recover moderately,” using the word “recover” for the first time in two and a half years amid an improvement in corporate sentiment and solid consumer spending.
The central bank last used the term to describe the state of the economy in January 2011, two months before a devastating earthquake struck northeastern Japan. At a two-day policy meeting through Thursday, the BOJ also maintained its target of achieving inflation of around 2 percent in two years to beat the deflation that has lasted for nearly two decades.
Following the meeting, the nine-member Policy Board decided unanimously to maintain its aggressive monetary easing policy introduced in April, centering on doubling the monetary base and boosting purchases of government bonds.
In an interim review of the BOJ’s semiannual outlook report issued in late April, the country’s economic growth projection for the current fiscal year through next March was revised down from 2.9 percent to 2.8 percent.
For the price outlook, the BOJ stuck to its view that the country’s consumer price index will post a year-on-year rise of 1.9 percent in fiscal 2015, almost achieving its target of 2 percent inflation in about two years.