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Members of the Bank of Japan have flagged that “due attention” needs to be paid to developments in global financial markets in the wake of the US presidential election, minutes from its December meeting show.
The commentary from the central bank’s December 19-20 meeting strike a relatively upbeat tone, which was backed-up by the BoJ using its policy meeting on January 31 to upgrade its economic growth forecasts for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.
Providing a boost to the Japanese economy is the yen, which has weakened in response to a rally in the US dollar brought about by expectations President Donald Trump’s fiscal policies will boost growth stateside. But this is still a rocky path, with Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, this week fiercely denying President Trump’s claims of yen manipulation.
The BoJ’s minutes said:
A few members pointed out that improvements in economic fundamentals that had been seen since before the U.S. presidential election, such as the firm growth in the global economy and stabilization of crude oil prices, were at the root of these market reactions. Some members expressed the view that these also were partly led by speculation. On this basis, many members expressed the recognition that due attention should be paid to future developments in global financial markets.
The improvement in the US economy was enough to prompt the the Federal Reserve in December to lift interest rates by 25 basis points for the first time in a year. It kept policy steady at its most recent meeting on Wednesday.
On the domestic front, the minutes showed BoJ members were of the view Japan’s moderate economic recovery had taken hold more firmly, particularly with exports and industrial production picking up and private consumption showing signs of improvement.