Japan's central bank chose to hold interest rates steady as a dovish new board member dissented in favour of further monetary easing.
The Bank of Japan said overnight interest rates will remain at 0.1 percent, that 10-year bond yields will be capped at around zero percent while the central bank will continue to purchase assets at almost ¥80 trillion a year.
New board member Goshi Kataoka voted for more stimulus as the current policy was not loose enough to reach the central bank's two percent inflation target. Kataoka argued that there was little chance of meeting the BOJ's inflation target by the projected time frame of around fiscal 2019, according to the central bank's policy statement.
The central bank said the consumer price index is “likely to continue on an uptrend and increase toward two percent.” The CPI currently is at almost 0.5 percent. The BoJ said that the country's economy is “expanding moderately” as “exports have been on an increasing trend”. It noted that the Japanese economy is “likely to continue its moderate expansion”.
BOJ watchers increasingly expect the central bank to stay on track at least through the end of Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's current term in April, even as the balance sheet nears the size of Japan's economy.