The Policy Board also decided by an 8-1 vote to purchase exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Japan real estate investment trusts (J-REITs) so that their amounts outstanding will increase at an annual paces of about JPY3.3 trillion and about JPY90 billion, respectively. As for CP and corporate bonds, the Bank will maintain their amounts outstanding at about 2.2 trillion yen and about 3.2 trillion yen respectively.
Excerpts from the Statement by the Bank of Japan:
Japan's economy has continued its moderate recovery trend, although exports and production have been sluggish due mainly to the effects of the slowdown in emerging economies. On the domestic demand side, business fixed investment has been on a moderate increasing trend as corporate profits have been at high levels. Against the background of steady improvement in the employment and income situation, private consumption has been resilient, although relatively weak developments have been seen in some indicators. Housing investment has resumed its pick-up, and the pace of decline in public investment has been slowing. Reflecting these developments in demand both at home and abroad and the effects of the Kumamoto earthquake, industrial production has continued to be more or less flat. Financial conditions are highly accommodative. On the price front, the year-on-year rate of change in the consumer price index (CPI, all items less fresh food) is about 0 percent. Although inflation expectations appear to be rising on the whole from a somewhat longer-term perspective, they have recently weakened.
With regard to the outlook, although sluggishness is expected to remain in exports and production for the time being, domestic demand is likely to follow an uptrend, with a virtuous cycle from income to spending being maintained in both the household and corporate sectors, and exports are expected to increase moderately on the back of emerging economies moving out of their deceleration phase. Thus, Japan's economy is likely to be on a moderate expanding trend. The year-on-year rate of change in the CPI is likely to be slightly negative or about 0 percent for the time being, due to the effects of the decline in energy prices, and, as the underlying trend in inflation steadily rises, accelerate toward 2 percent.
Risks to the outlook include uncertainties surrounding emerging and commodity-exporting economies, particularly China, developments in the US economy and the influences of its monetary policy response to them on the global financial markets, prospects regarding the European debt problem and the momentum of economic activity and prices in Europe, and geopolitical risks. Against this backdrop, global financial markets have remained volatile. Therefore, due attention still needs to be paid to the risk that an improvement in the business confidence of Japanese firms and conversion of the deflationary mindset might be delayed and that the underlying trend in inflation might be negatively affected.
The Bank will continue with "Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing (QQE) with a Negative Interest Rate," 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 risks to economic activity and prices, and take additional easing measures in terms of three dimensions -- quantity, quality, and the interest rate -- if it is judged necessary for achieving the price stability target.