January 21, 2020 / 3:20 AM / a month ago

BOJ keeps policy steady, nudges up economic growth forecasts

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the Bank of Japan building in Tokyo, Japan January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady and nudged up its economic growth forecasts on Tuesday, as the government’s spending package and receding pessimism over the global outlook take some pressure off the central bank to top up stimulus.

As widely expected, the BOJ maintained its short-term interest rate target at -0.1% and a pledge to guide 10-year government bond yields around 0%, by a 7-2 vote.

It also maintained guidance that commits it to keeping rates at current low levels, or even cut them, until risks keeping it from achieving its 2% inflation goal subside.

In a quarterly review of its forecasts, the BOJ revised up its growth projection for the fiscal year beginning in April to 0.9% from an estimate of 0.7% growth made in October, helped by a boost from the government’s fiscal stimulus package.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) to explain the decision.

Reporting by Leika Kihara, Daniel Leussink, Tetsushi Kajimoto, Kaori Kaneko, Hiroko Hamada and David Dolan; Editing by Chris Gallagher

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