JP: BoJ MPB Minutes

Thu May 07 18:50:00 CDT 2015

The Bank of Japan released minutes of its monetary policy board meeting on April 7 and 8. At that time, the MPB left its monetary policy unchanged with its key interest range at zero to 0.01 percent. The BoJ is currently buying about Y80 trillion of JGBs annually. Board member Takahide Kiuchi remained opposed to the October 31 easing. The minutes show an intense debate about whether the BoJ should abandon its timeframe for hitting a 2 percent inflation target.

The inflation target has been in increasing focus as the country tries to end two decades of deflation that has contributed to the moribund economy. Two years ago BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda set an ambitious 2 percent inflation target and pledged to hit it "at the earliest possible time, with a time horizon of about two years." The steep fall in global oil prices threatens to plunge Japan back into deflation for much of this year. It now expects to reach this in the first half of fiscal 2016 depending on movement in oil prices.

Minutes follow monetary policy board meetings with a four to five week lag. For example, minutes released on June 19 were for the meeting held on May 21 and May 22.

Investors who want a more detailed description of Bank of Japan opinions will generally read the minutes closely. The MPB may issue a statement after its monthly meeting but the minutes will be much more detailed. In particular they will reveal who voted for and against the Committee's decisions and provide a more detailed description of the MPB's thinking. As such, the minutes are a market mover as analysts parse each word looking for clues to future policy.

Once Every 3-4 weeks.