Friday, March 8, 2013
DJ: BOJ Upgrades Econ View For 3rd Straight Month
TOKYO--The Bank of Japan raised its assessment of the nation's economy Friday, its first three-month run of upward revisions since late 2009, amid increasing signs that the world's third-largest economy has emerged from a brief recession.
Japan's economy "has stopped weakening," the central bank said in its latest monthly report, a more optimistic view compared with February's assessment that the economy "appears to be stopping weakening."
The run of three consecutive assessment upgrades was the first since the period between September and November 2009. But it may do little to weaken expectations that the BOJ will take further easing action. In fact, expectations are strengthening as a vocal advocate of bolder monetary easing to beat deflation is expected to take the bank's helm later this month.
While the BOJ kept its monetary policy on hold at its final policy board meeting under Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa on Thursday, market participants took special note of an unsuccessful attempt by board member Sayuri Shirai to get the bank to launch a planned "open-ended" asset-purchase program much sooner than scheduled.
The other members voted against her proposal, but investors took it as a precursor to the aggressive easing BOJ chief nominee Haruhiko Kuroda is expected to undertake to reverse deflation and hit a 2% inflation target in two years.