The Bank of Japan should closely watch the effects of the slowdown in overseas economies and the sales tax hike on the Japanese economy, according to the minutes of the policy meeting held on December 18 and 19.
A few members expressed the view that signs of a pick-up having started to be seen in overseas economies and the new economic measures having been established by the government were positive factors that likely would support future economic expansion.
Exports were projected to continue showing some weakness for the time being, the minutes said.
“Considering the risk that overseas economies could recover only to a small extent or slow further, the outlook for exports could not be viewed optimistically, and therefore it was necessary to continue to pay close attention to developments in overseas economies,” a few members said.
At the December meeting, the bank had left its massive monetary stimulus unchanged.
Data released earlier in the day showed that inflation accelerated in December but it remained well below the 2 percent target.
Overall consumer price inflation increased to 0.8 percent in December from 0.5 percent a month ago and core inflation rose to 0.7 percent from 0.5 percent.