TOKYO (Reuters) – Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he will not hesitate to adjust the central bank’s quantitative easing program if there is a delay in reaching its underlying inflation goals, Jiji News reported.
Kuroda, who spoke on the sidelines of an Asian Development Bank meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, said the expected timing of inflation meeting the BOJ’s 2 percent price target had been pushed back to the first half of fiscal 2016, Jiji reported.
A decline in oil prices and several other factors led to the delay, Jiji reported Kuroda saying.
The BOJ was forced on April 30 to push back the timing of its inflation target after falling oil prices and lackluster consumer spending saw inflation grind to a halt. [ID:nL4N0XR0KS]
When the BOJ made this announcement on April 30, Kuroda said he saw no need to ease policy because a narrowing output gap between the economy’s actual and potential output shows that consumer prices should start rising again.
However, two members of the BOJ board objected, saying inflation will not reach 2 percent even by early 2018.
Many private-sector economists also speculate that the BOJ could ease policy again later this year by expanding purchases of government debt or risk assets.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Eric Meijer)