The Bank of Japan (BoJ), which has largely been in wait-and-see mode since launching an unprecedented monetary easing program last April, could be on the brink of unleashing fresh stimulus, say economists.
"We expect the BoJ to implement additional quantitative and qualitative easing measures some time during the second quarter - most likely in April - in order to counter downside risks to economic growth from the consumption tax hike in April," Takuji Aida, an economist at Société Générale said in a report on Wednesday.
(Read more: BOJ minutes: Economy, prices on track with forecasts)
The BoJ holds its next monetary policy meeting on April 7-8 - a few days after the country's consumption tax increase from 5 to 8 percent takes effect on April 1.
Aida cites five key reasons the central bank will act soon. Firstly, he says the market's inflation expectations are currently below the BoJ's price stability target of 2 percent.