The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Friday and removed a phrase on the time frame for achieving its 2 percent inflation target, suggesting it is no rush to reach its elusive price goal with the economy in good shape.
As widely expected, the Bank of Japan maintained a pledge to guide short-term interest rates at minus 0.1 percent and the 10-year bond yield around zero percent. The decision was made by a 8-1 vote with board member Goushi Kataoka dissenting.
In a quarterly review of its projections, the BOJ left its inflation forecast for next fiscal year unchanged from three months ago, at 1.8 percent.
It also projected inflation of 1.8 percent for the following fiscal year ending in March 2021, underscoring its view a strengthening recovery will help sustain price growth toward its target.
In a surprise move, however, the BOJ removed a phrase on the timing for achieving its price target in an acknowledgement that meeting the goal was taking more time than expected.
The central bank had been forced to push back the timeframe repeatedly due to subdued inflation. Analysts have criticised as too optimistic the bank's latest projection made in January that the price goal will be achieved during fiscal 2019.