Thursday, 10 April 2014

BoJ holds off further stimulus amid signs of weaker economic outlook

The Bank of Japan held off additional monetary stimulus after its policy meeting on Tuesday even as recent data indicate a deterioration in the outlook for the economy.

On Monday, the Cabinet Office reported that its leading index fell to 108.5 in February, the lowest since last August, from 113.1 in January while its coincident index fell to 113.4 from 115.2.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet Office reported that its economy watchers' current conditions index rose to 57.9 in March from 53.0 in February but the outlook index fell sharply to 34.7 from 40.0.

Somewhat more positive data on Tuesday came from the current account report, which showed a surplus in February, the first in five months. The trade deficit shrank as exports rose 15.7 percent from a year earlier while imports went up 14.1 percent. The primary income balance rose 3.6 percent.

However, a report on Thursday showed that core machinery orders fell 8.8 percent in February after having surged 13.4 percent in January.

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