BoJ Minutes: Japan Economy Continues To Improve

Members of the Bank of Japan's Monetary Policy Board said that the country's economy is still being hampered by high commodity prices, but overall still shows signs of steady improvement, minutes from the central bank's January 17-18 meeting revealed on Wednesday.

An increase in exports and production continues to drive the improvement, the minutes showed, enabling corporate profits to remain strong. Income and employment also continue to trend upward.

In order to maintain the improvement, the members agreed that they expect interest rates to remain at present or lower levels in both the near and short term.

At the meeting, the BoJ kept its interest rates unchanged at -0.1 percent and modified some of its lending programs. The bank will also continue to purchase a necessary amount of JGBs without setting an upper limit so that 10-year JGB yields will remain at around zero percent.

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