May 2, 2017 / 12:14 AM / 7 months ago

BOJ minutes - Members agreed to closely monitor consumer prices

TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan policymakers agreed to closely monitor consumer prices because they currently lack upward momentum, minutes of the central bank’s March 15-16 policy meeting showed on Tuesday.

A Japanese flag flutters atop the Bank of Japan building in Tokyo, Japan, September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

Policymakers said that over time, consumer prices will reach the central bank’s 2 percent inflation target but the BOJ needs to continue with its quantitative easing, according to the minutes.

One policymaker said the fact that the BOJ had to significantly boost government debt purchases to contain rising yields in February demonstrated weakness in its yield curve control policy, the minutes showed.

The BOJ kept monetary policy on hold at the meeting, and Governor Haruhiko Kuroda dampened expectations that the central bank could start to scale back its quantitative easing.

At a subsequent meeting on April 26-27, the BOJ trimmed its consumer price forecast for this fiscal year slightly as inflation expectations have struggled.

Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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