Japanese business groups welcome BOJ’s first rate hike in 17 years

The Bank of Japan has made “the appropriate policy decision at the appropriate time,” the head of Japan’s biggest business lobby said, welcoming Gov. Kazuo Ueda’s move to hike interest rates for the first time in 17 years.

“I think the BOJ has caught the indications that a virtuous cycle between wages and prices has started,” Keidanren Chairman Masakazu Tokura told reporters.

As widely expected, the BOJ announced on Tuesday it would end eight years of negative interest rates and other remnants of its unorthodox policy. But analysts expect it will keep rates stuck around zero for some time as a fragile economic recovery forces it to go slow on any further rise in borrowing costs.

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