October 3, 2019 / 6:27 PM / 13 days ago

Bank of Japan Deputy Gov Wakatabe said central bank ready to act as appropriate

Oct 3 (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Masazumi Wakatabe on Thursday said he expects global trade tensions to persist for quite some time and that the central bank will act as appropriate to boost the economy as needed.

Wakatabe said he believes the negative interest rate policy Japan introduced in 2016 is working, but said he does not want that to be part of a long-term approach.

“We believe the negative interest rate policy is effective and has been helping,” he said during a moderated discussion before the Japan Society in New York. But he added later that policy makers “would like to get out of this negative interest rate policy as soon as we can. We don’t want lower for longer to become lower for forever.”

His remarks come four weeks ahead of the BOJ’s next policy meeting. The bank has signaled readiness to ease policy to address escalating global risks, including a slowdown in growth across developed economies and uncertainty arising from fractured trade relationships.

At its meeting last month, the BOJ kept its short-term rate target at -0.1% and pledged to guide 10-year Japanese government bond yields toward 0% under its yield-curve control policy, or YCC. With sovereign rates diving around the world as the growth outlook weakens, the BOJ has struggled to deliver on the YCC component of its policy, and 10-year JGB yields have drifted further into negative territory.

On Thursday they were quoted at around -0.19% and have not been at 0% since the spring.

Last month, the government lowered its estimate for growth in the Japanese economy to an annualized rate of 1.3% in the second quarter, down from an earlier estimate of 1.8%. The downgrade helped intensify call for the BOJ to offer more stimulus. (Reporting By Dan Burns and Jonnelle Marte Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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