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Bank of Japan board members saw risk of US slowdown growing, minutes show

Bank of Japan board members saw risk of US slowdown growing, minutes show

A majority of Bank of Japan board members didn't see an imminent need to raise interest rates at the most recent policy meetings due to uncertainty over the global economy, according to minutes released by the central bank Wednesday.
Japan's central bank, which released minutes from its Oct. 31 and Nov. 12-13 meetings, last hiked its key rate in February to 0.5 percent, still the lowest among major industrialized countries.
"Some members expressed the view that although the scenario that the U.S. economy is likely to realize a soft landing and gradually move onto a sustainable growth path remains valid, downside risks to the economy have increased somewhat," the minutes said.
"Global financial markets continue to be unstable, and there was uncertainty regarding global economic development, for example, downside risks to the U.S. economy," it said.
The minutes suggest that the central bank is unlikely to raise rates any time soon, as policy makers are still worried about the impact of the global economic slowdown and financial market turmoil on Japan's economy.
The BOJ board members voted 8-1 to keep monetary policy steady at those two meetings. At its most recent meeting, the board voted 9-0 to keep the rate at 0.5 percent.