Japan’s economy recovering ‘moderately’

The Bank of Japan has said the country’s economy is “starting to recover moderately” as it pledged to maintain the breadth of its monetary easing programme.

The bank said in minutes released today that it would continue to increase the country’s monetary base at an annual pace or roughly ¥60-70trn (£40bn-£46bn) and would continue to purchase Japanese government bonds at ¥50trn a year.

It also said it would continue to buy roughly ¥1trn of exchange traded funds and ¥30bn of Japan real estate investment trusts.

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The Bank said while the manufacturing sector in overseas economies continues to show a “lacklustre performance” it was “gradually heading toward a pick-up”.

“In this situation, exports have been picking up,” it said.

“Business fixed investment has stopped weakening and shown some signs of picking up as corporate profits have improved.

“Public investment has continued to increase, and the pick-up in housing investment has become evident. Private consumption has remained resilient, assisted by the improvement in consumer sentiment.”

Elsewhere, the Bank said the consumer prices index measure of inflation in Japan “is likely to turn positive”.