BOJ's Kuroda says positive cycle driving Japan economy

Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda stuck to his guns on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, saying a positive cycle is in the works for the economy, which is poised to weather last week's sales tax hike and hit the central bank's inflation target. -- P
Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda stuck to his guns on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, saying a positive cycle is in the works for the economy, which is poised to weather last week's sales tax hike and hit the central bank's inflation target. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda stuck to his guns on Tuesday, saying a positive cycle is in the works for the economy, which is poised to weather last week's sales tax hike and hit the central bank's inflation target.

"The Japanese economy will be affected by the increase in the consumption tax, but the moderate recovery is continuing as a trend," Kuroda told a news conference.

As widely expected, the BOJ maintained its loose policy and its upbeat view on the economy on Tuesday, confident that it did not need to further support the economy in its bid to beat chronic deflation even as a sales tax hike clouds the outlook for an already slowing economy.

Despite the April 1 rise in the sales tax to 8 per cent from 5 per cent, Kuroda said inflation will likely hit the BOJ's 2 per cent inflation target around the end of the fiscal year through next March or early in 2015/16.

Growth will slump this quarter because of the tax hike but rebound from the summer onward as job and income conditions improve, he said.