© Reuters. FILE PHOTO-People walk past the Bank of Japan building in Tokyo, Japan June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
By Leika Kihara
TOKYO (Reuters) -Some Bank of Japan policymakers called for the need to be mindful of how a future exit from ultra-low interest rates could affect markets and households’ mortgage rates, minutes of the central bank’s October policy meeting showed on Friday.
While there was no immediate need to tweak monetary policy, the BOJ must keep an eye out on the side-effects of prolonged easing and scrutinise “without an preconception” how rising inflation could affect wages and household spending, one member was quoted as saying.
“It’s important to continue checking how a future exit from ultra-loose monetary policy could affect markets and whether market participants are prepared for the move,” the member said.
Some in the nine-member board also said the BOJ must be mindful of how future interest rate rises might affect mortgage loans, the minutes showed.
The remarks highlight the growing attention the BOJ policymakers was placing on prospects of higher inflation, and the possibility of a future withdrawal of stimulus.
Several board members pointed to increasing signs that price rises were broadening beyond cost-push factors with some predicting that inflation might remain elevated for a long time, the minutes showed.
At the October meeting, the BOJ kept ultra-low interest rates and its dovish guidance despite revising up its inflation forecasts in a show of resolve to keep focusing on supporting a fragile economic recovery.
But the BOJ stunned markets at its subsequent meeting in December by tweaking its yield curve policy to allow long-term interest rates to rise more, a move it described as aimed at ironing out market strains caused by its huge bond buying.
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