The Bank of Japan left policy untouched Thursday as a government stimulus package, progress in U.S.-China trade talks and signs of a bottoming of the global slowdown brightened the economic outlook.
The central bank maintained its target for interest rates and asset purchases, according to its statement Thursday, in line with the view of all 45 economist surveyed by Bloomberg.
The phase one U.S.-China trade deal, a stabilizing of global manufacturing readings and a stronger mandate for the U.K. to leave the European Union have given time for Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda to assess how Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ¥13 trillion fiscal package will prop up growth in an economy contending with a sales tax increase, an export slump and destruction caused by a super typhoon.
BOJ officials see a sizable impact from Abe’s fiscal spending, which is expected to boost the economy by 0.35 percentage points, according to economists surveyed. The government Wednesday estimated Japan’s growth to be 1.4 percent in the year starting in April, increasing a likelihood that the BOJ will upgrade its projection of 0.7 percent in a quarterly report next month.
“The BOJ is off the hook,” said Shigeto Nagai, chief Japan economist at Oxford Economics in Tokyo ahead of the decision. “It’s a lot easier for the BOJ now. They will sit tight unless some unexpected shock hits the economy or market,” the former BOJ official said.