TOKYO, 30 aprile (Reuters) - La Banca del Giappone ha limato le stime di inflazione e posticipato i relativi target, senza però rivedere il massiccio programma di stimoli sulla convinzione che una ripresa dell’economia spingerà gradualmente in alto i prezzi.
L’inflazione dovrebbe arrivare al target del 2% tra aprile e settembre 2016, secondo le nuove previsioni di Banca del Giappone, che prima aveva indicato come termine l’attuale anno fiscale che inizia questo mese.
Gli economisti erano da tempo scettici sulla possibilità che si arrivasse al target entro i tempi indicati e il collasso dei valori del greggio l’anno scorso, accompagnato dalla tiepida crescita economica, aveva reso l’obiettivo ancora più fuori portata.
“E’ vero che la tempistica per arrivare al 2% di inflazione è stata un po’ posticipata”, ha ammesso il governatore Haruhiko Kuroda nel corso di una conferenza stampa. “Il trend però sta stabilmente migliorando e ci si aspetta che continuerà a farlo. Pertanto non credo che ora sia necessario allentare ulteriormente la nostra politica. Detto ciò, non cambia la nostra posizione secondo la quale non esiteremo a fare aggiustamenti al primo segnale di un cambiamento del trend”.
Sul sito www.reuters.it altre notizie Reuters in italiano. Le top news anche su www.twitter.com/reuters_italia As expected, the central bank also maintained its huge asset buying programme on hopes that rising wages will spur spending and eventually nudge inflation higher. It will keep increasing base money at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen ($700 billion) through purchases of government bonds and risky assets. With inflation having ground to a halt due to slumping oil prices, the BOJ’s nine-member policy board cut its core consumer inflation forecast for this fiscal year to 0.8 percent from 1.0 percent, in line with expectations. As CPI is likely to stay around zero, this could affect the pace of increase in inflation expectations, the bank said. Still, many analysts expect the BOJ to ease policy later this year as inflation slides further away from its ambitious target. “We believe the central bank will announce enhanced easing measures by the end of the second quarter, most likely at the June 19 policy meeting,” HSBC economist Izumi Devalier said in a research note. Japan is emerging from recession but at a snail’s pace, as companies remain wary of ramping up spending despite record profits and consumers keep their purse strings tight. Despite a raft of weak data so far this year, the government appears to be in no mood to pressure the BOJ to do more at this time. Japan’s vice economy minister said recently it would “not be a big deal” if the timing for hitting 2 percent inflation is delayed by oil price falls. (Full Story) Aides close to premier Shinzo Abe have said further monetary easing could trigger unwelcome falls in the yen that would boost import costs, offsetting the benefits consumers and small firms are enjoying from the falling cost of fuel. BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has also voiced confidence his massive stimulus programme was succeeding in cracking the “deflationary mindset” that haunted Japan for 15 years. The BOJ surprised markets last October by expanding its asset purchase programme after cutting its forecasts, days after Kuroda had assured parliament that a recovery was on track. Central bankers have stressed since then that they will look through the effect of lower oil costs, which are largely blamed for inflation evaporating in February. But consumption has failed to rebound, underscoring doubts held by analysts that inflation will accelerate as quickly as the BOJ projects. Even after trimming its forecasts, the BOJ remains more bullish than the broader market. Analysts polled by Reuters expect core consumer inflation to hit 0.3 percent this fiscal year and 1.3 percent the following year, barely half the pace projected by the BOJ