Japan's economy has stopped weakening and has shown some signs of picking up. Looking ahead, it is expected to return to a moderate recovery path around mid-2013, mainly against the background that domestic demand remains resilient due to the effects of monetary easing as well as various economic measures, and that growth rates of overseas economies gradually pick up.
Thereafter, while the economy will be affected by the front-loaded increase and subsequent decline in demand prior to and after the two scheduled consumption tax hikes, it is likely to continue growing at a pace above its potential, as a trend, as a virtuous cycle among production, income, and spending is maintained.
As for the future conduct of monetary policy, the Bank will continue with quantitative and qualitative monetary easing, aiming to achieve the price stability target of 2 percent, as long as it is necessary for maintaining that target in a stable manner. It will examine both upside and downside risks to economic activity and prices, and make adjustments as appropriate.
Such conduct of monetary policy will support the positive movements that have started to appear in economic activity and financial markets, contribute to a further pick-up in inflation expectations that appear to have risen, and lead Japan's economy to overcome deflation that has lasted for nearly 15 years.