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  • 2020-01-24 10:45


    --Ex-Kansas Fed President Sees Steady Rates This Year

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve won't be able to reverse ultra-easy monetary policies for at least a decade, adding risk to the financial system, former Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig told MNI.

    The Fed is getting stuck in a world of ample bank reserves and extensive bond purchases in a financial system already characterized by excess leverage, Hoenig said in an interview. Hoenig also saw little chance the Fed will move its policy rate this year.

    "Now QE is the policy tool -- they're trapped and I don't see how they're getting out of it anytime soon," he said.

  • 2020-01-23 20:01


    --Japan Dec Core CPI +0.7% Y/Y; MNI Median +0.7%; Nov +0.5%
    --Japan Dec Core-Core CPI +0.9% Y/Y; Nov +0.8%
    --Japan Dec CPI Energy Costs -0.6% Y/Y; Nov -2.1%

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's December annual core consumer inflation rate accelerated from the previous month's level on the back of higher certain food prices, household durable goods and service prices, data from the Ministry of International Affairs and Communication released Friday showed.

    The key points from the latest CPI data:

    -- The national average core consumer price index (excluding fresh food) rose for a 36th straight month in December, rising 0.7% y/y, accelerating from a gain of 0.5% in November and in line with the MNI median forecast of a 0.7% gain.

    -- Accelerating inflation rate was expected, as it

  • 2020-01-23 19:44


    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan must consider possible pre-emptive policy options to cope with greater downside risks to economic activity and prices, a few Board members suggested at the December 18-19 policy-setting meeting, according to the minutes released Friday.

    However, many board members were prepared to stick with the current easy policy, while closely watching developments.

    One member voiced concern over side-effects from the Bank's easy policy, citing the deceleration in lending by regional financial institutions.

    The BOJ voted 7-2 to left monetary policy unchanged at the meeting, as widely expected, repeating that "downside risks concerning overseas economies seem to remain significant, and it also is necessary to pay close attention to their impact on firms'

  • 2020-01-23 13:10


    --Canadian Finance Minister Says He Has More Firepower For Downturn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's finance minister said Thursday deficit spending is taking pressure off the central bank to drive growth with ultra low interest rates, and he has plenty of firepower to deal with any future downturn.

    Bill Morneau said the current deficit of roughly 1% of GDP helps make sure the central bank isn't alone in supporting growth. The government introduced a family tax cut after being re-elected late last year and before that moved to mirror U.S. tax cuts on new business investment.

  • 2020-01-22 20:38


    TOKYO (MNI) - Financing demand by Japanese corporates through bank loans fell in January from the previous three months, according to the Bank of Japan's latest quarterly survey of senior loan officers at 50 banks released on Thursday.

    The index for corporate fund demand -- calculated by subtracting the number of banks reporting a decline in lending from the number of those reporting an increase -- stood at +2 in January, down from +3 in October, as demand was hit by the drop in sales and capital investment.

    The latest survey period was from December 10 to January 14.

    Other key points from the survey:

    --The index for demand from large companies rose to +1 from -4 and the index for small businesses fell to +1 from +4.

    --The index for fund demand expected

  • 2020-01-22 11:43


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Following is the text of Wednesday's press conference from BOC Governor Stephen Poloz and Senior Deputy Carolyn Wilkins:

    "Good morning. Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins and I are glad to be here to answer your questions about today's interest rate announcement and our Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Before turning to your questions, let me briefly summarize the substance of Governing Council's deliberations.

    You will recall that in October we were most occupied with the deteriorating global outlook. We could see clearly that this was affecting Canada's economy too -- not only through exports and the manufacturing sector, but also through the effects of heightened uncertainty on firms' investment decisions.

  • 2020-01-22 10:00


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Text of the BOC decision released Wednesday from Ottawa:

    The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1.75 percent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 percent and the deposit rate is 1.50 percent.

    The global economy is showing signs of stabilization, and some recent trade developments have been positive. However, there remains a high degree of uncertainty and geopolitical tensions have re-emerged, with tragic consequences. The Canadian economy has been resilient but indicators since the October Monetary Policy Report (MPR) have been mixed.

    Data for Canada indicate that growth in the near term will be weaker, and the output gap wider, than the Bank projected in October.

  • 2020-01-22 10:00


    By Greg Quinn and Anahita Alinejad

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada held its key interest rate at 1.75%, dropping a phrase about borrowing costs being appropriate to say it's watching for signs that slower-than-expected growth will persist.

    Geopolitical and trade tensions remain high and may be spreading into Canada's resilient domestic economy, adding slower job growth and consumer spending to already shaky investment and exports. The slowdown that started in the fourth quarter will extend into the first quarter of this year and move the economy away from full output, the Ottawa-based BOC said Wednesday.

  • 2020-01-22 04:34


    LONDON (MNI) - A burst of government spending has lifted year-to-date borrowing well above the full-year target, even ahead of a dose of government largesse expected in the March budget.

    The following are the key points from public sector finance data published Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics.

    - The UK's financial position has deteriorated markedly in the current financial year, courtesy of 5.0% surge in government spending on goods and services, the biggest year-to-date increase since records began in 1997.

    - Borrowing has increased by 7.9% over the first nine months of the fiscal year to GBP54.6 billion, far exceeding the Office for Budget Responsibility target of GBP47.6 billion.

  • 2020-01-22 01:49


    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan warns that corporate investment may slow if profits at automobile-related goods and capital goods firms declined, according to full text of the quarterly Outlook Report published Wednesday.

    "Business fixed investment, (a main pillar for an economic recovery), is expected to remain steady overall as firm investments in construction as well as in software and research and development offset weak machinery investment by manufacturers," the report said.

    "However, since some weakness has continued in exports and production - particular in automobile-related goods and capital goods, both of which have a large impact on Japan's economy - due attention needs to be paid to the possibility that firms' investment stance may become cautious if profits