TOKYO, July 15 The Bank of Japan kept monetary
policy steady on Tuesday and slightly trimmed its economic
growth forecast for the current fiscal year, reflecting soft
exports and a bigger-than-expected slump in household spending
after the April sales tax hike.
In a quarterly review of its long-term projections, the
central bank maintained its forecast that consumer inflation
will gradually accelerate towards its 2 percent target next
As widely expected, the BOJ voted unanimously to maintain
its pledge of increasing base money, or cash and deposits at the
central bank, at an annual pace of 60 trillion to 70 trillion
yen ($592-$691 billion).
BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference
from 3:30 p.m. (0630 GMT).
The BOJ has stood pat since launching an intense burst of
stimulus in April last year, when it pledged to double base
money via aggressive asset purchases to achieve its 2 percent
inflation target in roughly two years.
The central bank issues a semiannual report on the outlook
of the economy and prices in April and October of each year. It
reviews the forecasts in January and July.
($1 = 101.3700 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by Leika Kihara, Stanley White, Tetsushi Kajimoto
and Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Edmund Klamann)