The Bank of Japan will be holding its monetary policy meeting later this week on Friday. The BoJ’s meeting comes on the heels of the ECB meeting on Thursday. While no changes to interest rates are expected from the BoJ, the central bank’s statement is likely to garner a lot of attention.
The markets continue to flip-flop on the Japanese yen over the past week as investors try to interpret the comments from the central bank officials. Earlier last week, on Friday, the Bank of Japan Governor, Kuroda who was given a fresh five-year term said that the central bank would discuss “in principle” an exit policy from its currently aggressive monetary policy.
The easing is speculated to start during the fiscal year of 2019, provided Japan’s inflation reaches the central bank’s 2% target rate. Kuroda who appeared before a committee from the lower house gave his vision over the next five years following his renewal.
The BoJ governor said that the central bank was not yet considering any concrete plans for an exit strategy given the fact that consumer prices in Japan still remain far below the 2% inflation target rate.
Speaking to lawmakers, Kuroda said, “If we decide that there is sufficient momentum toward the 2 percent inflation goal, and if there is a need, … we will consider adjusting monetary policy.”
Earlier on Friday last week, Japan’s unemployment data was also released. According to official data, Japan’s unemployment rate was seen falling to a 24-year low at 2.4% in the month of January at an annual pace. Job availability was seen staying put at a four-decade high.
The unemployment data suggested that Japanese companies were facing intense competition to secure the workers as the economy was seen to be enjoying the second longest stretch of expansion.
The tightening of the labor market gave hopes to the fact that wage growth might also grow in the coming months. A higher wage growth is expected to put upward pressure on inflation.