The Bank of Japan has reduced its inflation forecasts and retained a large-scale incentive program amid growing risks for the economy in the form of trade protectionism and weakening global demand. The trade war between the United States and China, Japan's largest trading partners, is increasing pressure on the third largest economy in the world and undermining politicians' many years of efforts to promote sustainable growth.
As expected, the Bank of Japan has cut its inflation forecasts, reinforcing the view that it will have to continue unprecedented economic support for some time. The regulator noted that despite growing risks such as trade disputes and Brexit, Japan's economy will continue to grow at a moderate pace. However, a recent survey of economists has shown that external factors have increased Japan's chances for a downturn in the fiscal year starting in April, making it harder for the Bank of Japan to achieve a 2 percent inflation target.
The Bank of Japan confirmed its intention to continue buying Japanese government bonds and left the short-term interest rate unchanged at minus 0.1 percent. Many economists believe that the next step of the Bank of Japan will be the normalization of policy. Most expect it to happen in 2020 or later.
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