Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda offers an upbeat view of the economy but seeks to douse market talk the central bank may soon consider raising interest rates, vowing instead to keep policy loose to achieve the BOJ's 2 percent inflation goal. Sonia Legg reports.
A pick up in factory output and emerging Asia demand has given the Bank of Japan a little more confidence. It wasn't prepared to change its minus 0.1 interest rate. But stressed there was no need to go further into negative territory. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) BANK OF JAPAN GOVERNOR, HARUHIKO KURODA, SAYING: "We have taken a step forward in acknowledging that our country's economy is gradually recovering." The bank even revised up its view on private consumption - a soft spot in the country's economy. And spoke of "gradual growth." That's been hard to come by in recent months and some aren't as upbeat as Kuroda. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, SAYING: "The Japanese economy remains an enigma wrapped up in a mystery. Yes global investors have made a very, very large amount of money out Japanese risk assets in 2016 largely of course due to the weakness of the yen but you have to remember that the Japanese economy remains extremely frail both secular and structurally and indeed cyclically." The yen eased after the policy announcement. But inflation remains a problem. It's well below the bank's two per cent target. Good reason, says Kuroda, to keep the ultra loose monetary policy for now.