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Watch Out for BOJ in April, Says Economist Who Saw October Move
(Bloomberg) -- Watch out for another surprise from Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda this April, says Yuji Shimanaka, an economist who correctly predicted the unexpected expansion in monetary easing in October.
Shimanaka, at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. in Tokyo, is among a minority of analysts who forecast that further stimulus will come so early. According to the 59-year-old, who has been a market economist for more than three decades, one of several gauges of consumer prices could approach zero or even decline by March, challenging the central bank's outlook for inflation to accelerate in the year ahead and forcing its hand.
While 26 of 35 economists in a Feb. 5-10 survey by Bloomberg News forecast the BOJ will expand monetary stimulus this year, only seven expect a move in April, with Oct. 30 the most popular pick.
Eurogroup head: Greek reforms could prompt bailout payment in March
(Reuters) - Greece's international creditors could pay part of the 7.2 billion euros remaining in its bailout pot as early as this month if Athens starts adopting necessary reforms, the head of the euro zone finance ministers' group said.
"My message to the Greeks is: try to start the program even before the whole renegotiation is finished," Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the Financial Times in an interview.
"There are elements that you can start doing today. If you do that, then somewhere in March, maybe there can be a first disbursement. But that would require progress and not just intentions," he was quoted as saying.
Near Fed majority backs June liftoff Yellen hasn't yet endorsed
(Reuters) - Janet Yellen's premium on consensus may lead to a Federal Reserve decision the chair hasn't yet endorsed, as a near majority aligns in favor of a possible June interest rate hike.
Seven of the Fed's current 17 members have now said they at least want the option of a June tightening on the table, or have pushed in general for an earlier increase amid an expectation that wages and inflation will turn higher.
By contrast, there's a dwindling core of officials who say publicly that the economy and labor markets in particular still have a long way to go -- only four Fed members have in recent weeks clearly said that rate hikes won't be appropriate until much later in the year or even into 2016.
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