July 22, 2019 / 3:34 PM / a month ago

BOJ's Kuroda says will mull impact of global uncertainty on economy

FILE PHOTO: Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda attends a news conference at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo, Japan June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Monday the central bank will pay close attention to the impact heightening global uncertainties and jittery market moves could have on Japan’s economy in guiding monetary policy.

Kuroda also said central banks do not need to be too pessimistic about their ability to stimulate the economy with additional monetary easing, even if faced with a substantial decline in the natural rate of interest.

“We will carefully examine various risk factors, in addition to developments in economic activity and prices as well as financial conditions, and weigh the benefits and costs of the policy effects,” Kuroda said in a speech at a seminar hosted by the International Monetary Fund in Washington.

“In this way, the Bank will continue to conduct its policy in an appropriate manner,” he added.

BOJ executives, including Kuroda, have said they are ready to ramp up stimulus if the economy loses momentum for achieving the central bank’s 2% inflation target.

Some analysts say the BOJ could ease as early as its July 29-30 rate review, if global uncertainties trigger a spike in the yen big enough to derail Japan’s export-reliant recovery.

But the BOJ likely won’t top up stimulus easily as years of aggressive easing have pushed borrowing costs to or below zero, straining commercial banks’ margins and leaving the central bank with little ammunition to fight the next recession.

Reporting by Jason Lane; Additional reporting by Leika Kihara in Tokyo; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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