© Reuters. Pedestrians are reflected on a wall of a shopping mall in Tokyo, Japan November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
By Leika Kihara
TOKYO (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan on Thursday offered a more optimistic view on the country’s economic health and pointed to growing number of firms planning wage increases, underscoring its conviction that Japan is on track to achieve its 2% inflation target.
In a quarterly report, the central bank raised its economic assessment for four of the country’s nine regions. It maintained its assessment for the remaining five.
“Many regions saw their economies pick up, or pick up moderately,” with Japan’s re-opening of borders drawing in more overseas tourists and boosting services demand, the report said.
Some firms appeared to struggle increasing pay as rising fuel and raw material costs squeezed profits, the report said.
“But there were many cases where companies were increasing winter bonus payments, or plan to hike wages” to cope with a tight labour market and compensate employees for the rising cost of living, it said.