BOJ keeps monetary easing, but makes tweaks

The Bank of Japan has decided to press on with its massive monetary easing program as it helps steer the economy through the coronavirus. But the central bank is making some tweaks as it tries to hit its inflation target amid the pandemic.

The BOJ made the decision at a two-day policy meeting that ended on Friday. It announced it will maintain its negative short-term interest rate and continue its program to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds.

It also revealed the results of a review of policies designed to achieve its 2-percent inflation target.

Officials are scrapping an annual goal for buying exchange-traded funds, which stood at 6 trillion yen, or about 55 billion dollars. A 12-trillion-yen ceiling will remain for such purchases.
They say that will make the bank more flexible.

And they have widened the margin long-term rates can fluctuate around zero to 0.25 percent from 0.2 percent.

The BOJ also says further falls in both long-term and short-term interest rates are potential options. It says it would pay extra interest to commercial banks to offset the negative impact of that.