TOKYO, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Wednesday cut its inflation forecasts for fiscal 2019 and 2020, further away from its 2-percent price gains target.
Prices were expected to increase 0.9 percent in fiscal 2019, a significant revise from the earlier forecast of 1.4 percent in October.
The BOJ, after a two-day meeting, also downgraded the expectation for fiscal 2020 to 1.4 percent from the previous 1.5 percent.
Inflation in fiscal 2018 will be 0.8 percent, down from 0.9 percent forecasted in October due to a decline of global oil prices, according to the BOJ.
"Our inflation outlook has not changed very much," said Governor Haruhiko Kuroda in a press conference. He said the momentum toward the 2-percent target has not been discouraged.
The central bank also decided to keep interest rates at the current ultralow levels, and lowered its economic forecast of Japan's growth to 0.9 percent in fiscal 2018 from the previous 1.4 percent.
For fiscal 2019 and 2020, growth forecasts were slightly lifted to 0.9 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively.