The Bank of Japan keeps monetary policy steady and maintains ambitious price forecasts, though one board member is keen for stimulus to be pumped up again should the circumstances require it. David Pollard reports.
Researchers at Nomura and Microsoft have been using AI to try to predict changes in monetary policy. Haruhiko Kuroda, their study says, showed signs of 'anger' and 'disgust' at news conferences that preceded two major policy changes. While at his latest conference he took on a question on the research itself. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) BANK OF JAPAN GOVERNOR, HARUHIKO KURODA, SAYING: "You mean AI? Nah...(laughing) I apologise to the people who are doing this research, but I really have no idea whether or not it's meaningful." On policy, it was time for a more serious face. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) BANK OF JAPAN GOVERNOR, HARUHIKO KURODA, SAYING: "The economy is sustaining its momentum to achieve 2 percent inflation, but the momentum remains weak." The BoJ leaving the stimulus taps open while maintaining its price target. Though among its boardmembers, Goushi Kataoka said the bank should make clear its readiness to expand stimulus again, if required .... As he dissented on the decision to keep policy where it is. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "The likelihood of the Bank of Japan maintaining its current easy monetary policy is likely to continue for quite some time to come because if you look at the CPI number it's at no point five percent. Their target is 2 percent." The BoJ still expects inflation to hit target by March 2020. But the short-term outlook may see the smiles slip from Japan watchers .... The Bank slightly cutting its inflation forecast for the current fiscal year. Despite a healthier 2.5 per cent growth rate in Q2.