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BOJ moves to ward off downturn by maintaining easy money policy

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TOKYO, Oct 28 (Nikkei) –
The Bank of Japan decided to maintain its ultraloose monetary policy on Friday as Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda highlighted downside risks to the economy and indicated his willingness to accept a weaker yen.

The BOJ released inflation projections, with the mean projection rising to 2.9% from 2.3% for fiscal 2022, and to 1.6% from 1.4% for fiscal 2023, in a sign that price increases are becoming more widespread than policy board members had anticipated. Fiscal years end in March.

But their mean projection for economic growth was sharply lowered, to 2% from 2.4% for fiscal 2022, and to 1.9% from 2% for fiscal 2023. At a news conference, Kuroda focused on the downgrade, not the seeming progress toward the BOJ’s 2% inflation goal.

“It is not clear if the aggressive monetary tightening [by overseas central banks] does not become overkill and cause a serious recession,” he said, making a case for letting easy money flow while other central bankers tighten their grips. “We have to be alert for that risk.”

The BOJ released the results of its latest board meeting around noon, and market reaction was initially muted, with the yen staying around 146.50 against the dollar as the central bank was widely expected to stay the course.
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