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Japan Consumer Prices (Apr. 2022)

Inflation rose above the Bank of Japan's 2% inflation target for the first time since 2008 and we expect underlying inflation to approach 2% later this year, but this won't prompt the Bank to tighten policy.
Marcel Thieliant Senior Japan, Australia & New Zealand Economist
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Japan Economics Weekly

Respite for BoJ doesn’t weaken case for a policy tweak

Pressure on the Bank of Japan’s Yield Curve Control framework eased this week. On the campaign trail for the Upper House election, where inflation has emerged as a key concern, Prime Minister Kishida said that monetary tightening would do more harm than good. Even more welcome for the BoJ, pressure emanating from the bond market has dropped back too. It had to buy less than a tenth as many JGBs this week as last. Some might feel that this reduces the need to shore up the policy framework. But a respite provides a window in which to make it more resilient.
Asia Drop-In (30th June, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Are Asia’s central banks behind the curve? Can the Bank of Japan and People’s Bank of China continue to go against the grain? Find out in our special session on what global monetary tightening looks like in Asia. Register now.  

24 June 2022

Japan Data Response

Japan Consumer Prices (May 2022)

While inflation didn’t rise any further in May, it will remain above the BoJ’s 2% target until early-2023, while underlying inflation will approach 2%. However, the Bank won’t respond with tighter policy. Asia Drop-In (30th June, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Are Asia’s central banks behind the curve? Can the Bank of Japan and People’s Bank of China continue to go against the grain? Find out in our special session on what global monetary tightening looks like in Asia. Register now.  

24 June 2022

Japan Data Response

Japan Flash PMIs (Jun. 2022)

The PMIs suggest that supply shortages are still holding back manufacturing output and adding to price pressures. On a more upbeat note, the surveys also point to a strong pick-up in consumption as the economy rebounds from the Omicron wave and international tourists return. Asia Drop-In (30th June, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Are Asia’s central banks behind the curve? Can the Bank of Japan and People’s Bank of China continue to go against the grain? Find out in our special session on what global monetary tightening looks like in Asia. Register now.  

23 June 2022

More from Marcel Thieliant

Japan Economics Update

Weaker yen won’t provide a big boost to net exports

With Japan’s terms of trade set to improve only modestly and interest rates differentials moving further against the yen, we expect the exchange rate to fall to 140 against the dollar by year-end. But this currency weakness will provide only a small boost to Japan’s net export volumes.

19 May 2022

Australia & New Zealand Data Response

Australia Labour Market (Apr. 2022)

While the unemployment rate held steady at a 48-year low in April, the slowdown in employment growth and the sluggishness of wage growth will probably convince the RBA to hike rates by 25bp next month rather than the 40bp some are anticipating.  

19 May 2022

Japan Economics Focus

What would tighter monetary policy mean for Japan?

We don’t expect the Bank of Japan to tighten monetary policy meaningfully but, with inflation about to breach 2%, what if we are wrong? The direct impact of higher interest rates on the corporate sector would be manageable, but a stronger yen would weigh on corporate profits and business investment. Higher rates would also restrain housing-related activity and would probably cause a housing downturn, with the resulting fall in household wealth weighing on consumption.

18 May 2022
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