Statement on Monetary Policy
September 17, 2020
Bank of Japan
- At the Monetary Policy Meeting held today, the Policy Board of the Bank of Japan decided upon the following.
- (1) Yield curve control
The Bank decided, by an 8-1 majority vote, to set the following guideline for market operations for the intermeeting period. [Note 1]
- The short-term policy interest rate:
- The Bank will apply a negative interest rate of minus 0.1 percent to the Policy-Rate Balances in current accounts held by financial institutions at the Bank.
- The long-term interest rate:
- The Bank will purchase a necessary amount of Japanese government bonds (JGBs) without setting an upper limit so that 10-year JGB yields will remain at around zero percent. While doing so, the yields may move upward and downward to some extent mainly depending on developments in economic activity and prices. 1
- (2) Guidelines for asset purchases
With regard to asset purchases other than JGB purchases, the Bank decided, by a unanimous vote, to set the following guidelines.
- a) The Bank will actively purchase exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and Japan real estate investment trusts (J-REITs) for the time being so that their amounts outstanding will increase at annual paces with the upper limit of about 12 trillion yen and about 180 billion yen, respectively. 2
- b) As for CP and corporate bonds, the Bank will maintain their amounts outstanding at about 2 trillion yen and about 3 trillion yen, respectively. In addition, until the end of March 2021, it will conduct additional purchases with the upper limit of the amounts outstanding of 7.5 trillion yen for each asset.
- Japan's economy has started to pick up with economic activity resuming gradually, although it has remained in a severe situation due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at home and abroad. Overseas economies also have started to pick up from a state of significant depression. In this situation, exports and industrial production have turned to a pick-up. On the other hand, corporate profits and business sentiment have deteriorated, and business fixed investment has been on a declining trend. With the continuing impact of COVID-19, the employment and income situation has been weak. Private consumption has picked up gradually on the whole, although consumption of services, such as eating and drinking as well as accommodations, has remained at a low level. Housing investment has declined moderately. Meanwhile, public investment has continued to increase moderately. Financial conditions have been accommodative on the whole but those for corporate financing have remained less so, as seen in weakness in firms' financial positions. On the price front, the year-on-year rate of change in the consumer price index (CPI, all items less fresh food) is at around 0 percent, mainly affected by the past decline in crude oil prices. Inflation expectations have weakened somewhat.
- With regard to the outlook, Japan's economy, with economic activity resuming, is likely to follow an improving trend through the materialization of pent-up demand and supported by accommodative financial conditions and the government's economic measures. However, the pace of improvement is expected to be only moderate while the impact of COVID-19 remains worldwide. Thereafter, as the impact subsides globally, the economy is projected to keep improving further with overseas economies returning to a steady growth path. The year-on-year rate of change in the CPI (all items less fresh food) is likely to be negative for the time being, mainly affected by COVID-19 and the past decline in crude oil prices. Thereafter, it is expected to turn positive and then increase gradually, as downward pressure on prices is projected to wane gradually along with economic improvement and the effects of the decline in crude oil prices are likely to dissipate.
- With regard to risks to the outlook, there have been extremely high uncertainties over the consequences of COVID-19 and the magnitude of their impact on domestic and overseas economies. In addition, it is necessary to pay close attention to whether, while the impact of COVID-19 remains, firms' and households' medium- to long-term growth expectations will not decline substantially and the smooth functioning of financial intermediation will be ensured with financial system stability being maintained.
- The Bank will continue with "Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing (QQE) with Yield Curve Control," 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 continue expanding the monetary base until the year-on-year rate of increase in the observed CPI (all items less fresh food) exceeds 2 percent and stays above the target in a stable manner.
The Bank will continue to support financing mainly of firms and maintain stability in financial markets through (1) the Special Program to Support Financing in Response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), (2) an ample provision of yen and foreign currency funds without setting upper limits mainly by purchasing JGBs and conducting the U.S. dollar funds-supplying operations, and (3) active purchases of ETFs and J-REITs.
For the time being, the Bank will closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 and will not hesitate to take additional easing measures if necessary, and also it expects short- and long-term policy interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels. [Note 2]
- [Note 1] Voting for the action: Mr. KURODA Haruhiko, Mr. AMAMIYA Masayoshi, Mr. WAKATABE Masazumi, Mr. SAKURAI Makoto, Ms. MASAI Takako, Mr. SUZUKI Hitoshi, Mr. ADACHI Seiji, and Mr. NAKAMURA Toyoaki. Voting against the action: Mr. KATAOKA Goushi. Mr. Kataoka dissented, considering that it was desirable to further strengthen monetary easing by lowering short- and long-term interest rates, in response to a possible increase in downward pressure on prices and with the aim of alleviating firms' and households' interest burden. Return to text
- [Note 2] Mr. Kataoka dissented, considering that, given the severe impact of COVID-19, further coordination of fiscal and monetary policy was necessary and it was appropriate for the Bank to revise the forward guidance for the policy rates to relate it to the price stability target. Return to text
- In case of a rapid increase in the yields, the Bank will purchase JGBs promptly and appropriately. Return to text
- As for the guideline for purchases of ETFs and J-REITs, in principle, "the Bank will purchase these assets so that their amounts outstanding will increase at annual paces of about 6 trillion yen and about 90 billion yen, respectively. With a view to lowering risk premia of asset prices in an appropriate manner, the Bank may increase or decrease the amount of purchases depending on market conditions." Return to text
- Meeting hours:
Wednesday, September 16: 14:00-15:40
Thursday, September 17: 9:00-11:44
- Policy Board members present:
Mr. KURODA Haruhiko, Chairman (Governor)
Mr. AMAMIYA Masayoshi (Deputy Governor)
Mr. WAKATABE Masazumi (Deputy Governor)
Mr. SAKURAI Makoto
Ms. MASAI Takako
Mr. SUZUKI Hitoshi
Mr. KATAOKA Goushi
Mr. ADACHI Seiji
Mr. NAKAMURA Toyoaki
- September 16
From the Ministry of Finance:
Mr. SAKATA Wataru, Deputy Vice-Minister for Policy Planning and Coordination (14:00-15:40)
From the Cabinet Office:
Mr. IBARAGI Hideyuki, Deputy Director General for Economic and Fiscal Management (14:00-15:40)
- September 17
From the Ministry of Finance:
Mr. SAKATA Wataru, Deputy Vice-Minister for Policy Planning and Coordination (9:00-11:29, 11:38-11:44)
From the Cabinet Office:
Mr. TAWA Hiroshi, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination (9:00-11:29, 11:38-11:44)
- Release dates and times:
Statement on Monetary Policy -- Thursday, September 17 at 11:51
Summary of Opinions -- Tuesday, September 29 at 8:50
Minutes of the Monetary Policy Meeting -- Wednesday, November 4 at 8:50