Bank of Japan holds off fresh monetary easing measures

A pedestrian walks past the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo on Aug 8, 2013.The Bank of Japan on Thursday held off launching fresh easing measures as evidence of an economic recovery piles up, a day after the US central bank left its own stimulus
A pedestrian walks past the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo on Aug 8, 2013.The Bank of Japan on Thursday held off launching fresh easing measures as evidence of an economic recovery piles up, a day after the US central bank left its own stimulus programme unchanged. -- FILE PHOTO REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - The Bank of Japan (BoJ) on Thursday held off launching fresh easing measures as evidence of an economic recovery piles up, a day after the US central bank left its own stimulus programme unchanged.

Its two-paragraph statement that it would not tinker with the asset-buying scheme launched in April came as the bank prepares to release its semi-annual economic outlook later in the day.

It had been widely expected to hold fire as it studies how its unprecedented monetary easing plan, which pumps huge amounts of money into the financial system, was rippling through the world's number-three economy.

However, bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda said after a meeting earlier this month that he was ready to pull the trigger on fresh policy moves if the economy heads south.

Mr Kuroda is due to hold a news briefing later on Thursday.

The previous BoJ meeting came just days after it published its quarterly Tankan survey, which showed business confidence in Japan had soared to a more than five-year high.

Japan's economic growth has easily outpaced expansion in other G7 nations so far this year and the government hailed recent consumer price data as showing it is winning the war on deflation.

On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve said it would maintain its US$85 billion (S$105 billion)-a-month bond buying programme but gave an upbeat view of the economy that dealers took as a hint at a wind down some time soon.