Kuroda Rejects China Bubble Risk, Says It’s Not Like 1980s Japan
(Bloomberg) -- Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda played down the risk of a crisis from the troubles in China’s real estate market that have been exposed by the downfall of developer China Evergrande Group.
“China’s real-estate problem is somewhat different from the problem we faced” in Japan in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Kuroda said in a virtual panel discussion at a forum hosted by the European Central Bank Wednesday. “Extremely speculative investment in the real estate market does not appear to be the case in the Chinese case,” he said.
While Chinese authorities are taking measures to contain “excessive expansion of real estate activities” after a long period of growth, “at this stage, it’s quite unlikely that this problem would reverberate and affect the entire Chinese real-estate market or even the entire Chinese economy,” Kuroda said.
The BOJ chief, who worked at Japan’s Ministry of Finance during Tokyo’s bubble era and the country’s real-estate collapse, also dismissed the risk of any global financial crisis. He said China’s issues aren’t like the subprime U.S. mortgage meltdown that spurred turmoil across the world in 2008.
“As far as I can see -- probably this is also the case in the U.S. and Europe -- as far as the Japanese financial system is concerned, the direct exposure to a particular real estate group or even the entire Chinese real estate market is quite limited,” Kuroda said. “I don’t think it’s likely to be a big financial crisis emanating from China to the world.”
Kuroda also said that Japan’s economy should recoup its pandemic-era losses by late 2021 or early 2022. Growth for the current fiscal year “may be quite small,” but “next year the economy is likely to grow about 4% or something like that.”
With the fully vaccinated share of the population now at 60% and Japan’s state of emergency lifted, consumer spending should gradually step up from its “quite weak” state, Kuroda said. He also noted that profits among Japanese companies have translated into “fairly firm” business fixed investment.
Kuroda also indicated no change in monetary stance as a result of the change in government under way. Whatever fiscal or regulatory policies are adopted by incoming Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet, the BOJ will continue to “maintain extremely accommodative monetary policy,” Kuroda said. The BOJ’s objective is reaching 2% inflation as soon as possible, and “that mandate is not likely to change,” he said.
Kuroda reiterated the BOJ would further ease monetary conditions if necessary.
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