TOKYO: Japan’s exports were expected to rise for a ninth straight month in August, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, underscoring the important role of foreign demand in driving economic recovery. Analysts also expect the Bank of Japan to keep policy rates unchanged at its meeting on Sept. 20 and 21. Exports were seen rising 14.7 percent in August from a year before after posting 13.4 percent growth in July, the poll of 21 analysts found.
Imports were seen likely to rise 11.8 percent from a year earlier, an eight straight gaining month. “An increase in demand along with global economic expansion and the yen’s level, which is judged low, will support the trend of rising exports,” Yoshimasa Maruyama, chief market economist at SMBC Nikkei Securities, said in the survey. Shipments of electronic components to Asia have been slowing, which suggests a positive cycle of electronic components may have run its course, but other exports to the region will likely stay solid, Yuichiro Nagai, economist at Barclays Securities, noted in the survey. “Exports of autos and capital goods remain firm, which is expected to underpin the overall exports,” said Nagai.
The poll also found the BOJ was expected to maintain the 0.1 percent interest it charges on a portion of excess reserves that financial institutions park at the central bank. The BOJ was also seen keeping the 10-year government bond yield target around zero percent next week, the poll found. The BOJ, having tried just about every trick in the policy play book to generate sustainable price growth, is expected to stand pat at its monetary meeting next week and signal that no further stimulus is forthcoming, sources told Reuters.