March 19, 2020 / 12:16 AM / 13 days ago

BOJ policymaker warned of recession risk before virus hit economy-Jan minutes

TOKYO, March 19 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan must brace for the risk of another recession by strengthening cooperation with the government’s fiscal policy, a central bank policymaker warned in January at a rate review held before the coronavirus outbreak hit the economy.

But several members voiced caution over deepening negative interest rates, with one warning that the BOJ must carefully weigh the benefit and cost of ramping up its ultra-loose monetary policy, minutes of the January meeting showed on Thursday.

At the Jan. 20-21 meeting, the BOJ kept monetary policy steady and nudged up its economic growth forecast on signs of de-escalation in the U.S.-China trade war. But it expanded stimulus at a subsequent meeting in February to fend off the shock from the fallout of the coronavirus epidemic. (Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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