TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan has led Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s effort to stimulate the world’s third-biggest economy, but its often innovative steps have yet to end decades of falling prices and feeble growth.
To help explain what it all means, the Reuters graphics team has produced an animated guide to the often bewildering world of QQE, YYC and other tricks of the BOJ trade. (tmsnrt.rs/2igbqRk)
Deploying “quantitative and qualitative easing” (QQE) policies, the BOJ has pumped a torrent of freshly minted yen into the economy, largely by buying government bonds. The aim was to stoke inflation and encourage spending.
When that failed to ignite economic activity, the central bank early this year imposed a negative interest rate, charging banks to park some of their overnight cash. It hoped this would encourage lending.
This, too, didn’t do the trick. So the central bank in September pioneered “yield curve control” (YCC), an attempt to spur lending by ensuring a gap between short-term interest rates where banks borrow and long-term rates where they lend.
Whether the BOJ’s latest steps will succeed, where years of unorthodox policies haven’t, remain a key question for 2017.
Graphic by Simon Scarr, Jin Wu, Weiyi Cai; Additional graphic text by Neil Fullick; Narration by Jeremy Wagstaff; Text writing by William Mallard; Text editing by Bill Tarrant