Economic news

Japan Households' Inflation Expectations Rise, Keep Pressure on BOJ

  • More households see prices rising 1, 5 years from now - survey
  • Data highlights growing inflationary pressures
  • BOJ's July meeting in focus, some doubt early tweak to low rates

TOKYO, July 12 (Reuters) - Japanese households' inflation expectations rose in the three months to June, a central bank survey showed on Wednesday, adding to growing signs that conditions for phasing out massive monetary stimulus may be falling in place.

The survey will be among factors the Bank of Japan (BOJ) will scrutinise in producing new inflation forecasts at its July 27-28 rate review, and in deciding whether to maintain its yield curve control policy that sets a 0% cap on long-term yields.

The ratio of Japanese households expecting prices to rise a year from now stood at 86.3% in June, up from 85.7% in March to hit the highest level since June 2022, the BOJ survey showed.

Households expect inflation to average 10.5% a year from now, the June survey showed, down from 11.1% in the previous survey but well above the BOJ's 2% target.

The percentage of households expecting prices to rise five years from now also rose to a one-year high of 79.0% in June from 75.4% three months ago, the survey showed.

The survey highlights how consumers continue to feel the pain from rising costs of living, even as falling global commodity prices moderate rises in wholesale inflation.

Households' inflation expectations are among factors the BOJ looks at carefully in determining whether inflation will sustainably achieve its 2% target - a prerequisite for dialling back its stimulus programme.

A separate survey showed companies expect inflation to stay above 2% for the next five years, suggesting the world's third largest economy is on the cusp of emerging from more than two decades of subdued growth and inflation.

BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda has stressed the need to keep monetary policy ultra-loose until there is clearer evidence that inflation will sustainably hit 2% backed by domestic demand.

The BOJ, however, is starting to drop signs that inflation is increasingly driven by improving consumer demand which, if sustained, could give Ueda justification to pivot away from his predecessor's massive monetary stimulus.

Renewed market speculation of a near-term policy tweak has pushed up Japanese long-term interest rates and the yen, as investors nod to signs of growing inflationary pressure.

Naomi Muguruma, senior market economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, doubts whether the BOJ is ready to act soon given uncertainty over the economic outlook.

"If the BOJ were to tweak policy this month, that would be a surprise," she said. "While companies are raising wages and prices, it's still hard to predict whether the wage and inflation momentum will be sustained next year."

Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Tom Hogue, Robert Birsel and Lincoln Feast

Source: Reuters

To leave a comment you must or Join us

More news

Back to economic news list

By visiting our website and services, you agree to the conditions of use of cookies. Learn more
I agree