Bank of Japan to extend pandemic relief if needed
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) will consider extending its current September deadline for its pandemic-relief programme if necessary, said BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, as the country battles a spike in COVID-19 infections.
The country remains on a path toward recovery as exports and corporate profits offset some of the pandemic’s damage to consumption levels, but there is still high uncertainty on the pace of vaccinations and other risks, Kuroda said.
“For the time being, risks to Japan’s economic outlook are skewed to the downside,” he said at a speech, reports Reuters.
“Taking into account the impact of the pandemic, we will consider extending further” the deadline to ease corporate funding strains caused by the health crisis, he added.
Japan’s economy shrank an annualised 5.1% in the first quarter as a slow vaccination rollout and a spike in COVID-19 cases hit spending on dining out and retail, showed data released on Monday.
Last year, BOJ ramped up asset purchases and implemented a loan programme targeted at cash-strapped smaller firms to help cushion the impact of the pandemic on businesses.