Wednesday, the Bank of Japan maintained its economic assessment by saying that economic conditions have deteriorated significantly in Japan. Elsewhere, Thailand's central bank reduced its key interest rate further, to stimulate the contracting economy.
The BoJ stated, Japan's economic conditions are likely to continue deteriorating for the time being, reiterating its view expressed last month. The central bank said in its Monthly Report of Recent Economic and Financial Developments that financial conditions have remained tight.
The current account balance in Japan swung to a surplus in February, the Ministry of Finance said in a preliminary report, coming in at 1.116 trillion yen. That's down 55.6% on-year, even though it beat expectations for a surplus of 1.071 trillion yen following the record 172.8 billion yen shortfall in January.
Elsewhere, the Economy Watchers Survey issued by the Japanese Cabinet Office showed that the current index and outlook indices improved in March. The current index that measures assessment of existing economic conditions rose to 28.4 in March from 19.4 in February. The index stood well above the expected reading of 20.9. Meanwhile, the outlook index climbed to 35.8 from 26.5 in last month.
A report from the Tokyo Shoko Research Ltd. showed that bankruptcies in Japan climbed 14.1% year-on-year to 1,537 cases in March.
The monetary policy committee of the Bank of Thailand lowered the policy interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%. Economists had expected a reduction of 50 basis points. The central bank trimmed the interest rate by a cumulative 2.5 percentage points since December 2008.
The Thai central bank said the severity and duration of the crisis remained highly uncertain, which would affect the Thai economy through a contraction of exports, while private domestic demand remained weak. However, the central bank expects public spending through the government's fiscal stimulus measures to set off the softening in private demand to some extent.
South Korea's L money supply, representing the country's the broadest measure of money supply, grew 10.8% year-on-year in February, at a slower pace compared to a 10.9% rise in January, the Bank of Korea said.
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