The Bank of Japan published the minutes of its monetary policy board meeting on August 6 and 7. At that time, they kept their monetary policy key interest rate range at zero to 0.1 percent. It said it would continue to buy JGBs at an annual pace of ¥80 trillion. The vote to maintain its policy was 8 to 1. Once again, Takahide Kiuchi voted against the decision arguing that a reduced pace of purchases (¥45 trillion) was appropriate.
Members said they were monitoring the impact of China's slowdown on Japan's exports. They noted that the output gap is improving slowly. Regarding inflation, members are looking at weak oil prices and their effect on inflation. Some said that jobs and wages show movement toward a 2 percent CPI. Some thought that the CPI excluding both fresh food and energy was a useful indicator. However, they noted that the BoJ's inflation target was based on total CPI.
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.
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