Fed policy shift could hurt emerging economies, Japanese official says

Aug. 29, 2013 at 11:48 AM
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MORIOKA, Japan, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A Japanese central bank official warned business leaders that tapering off the U.S. Federal Reserve's asset purchasing program would affect emerging economies.

The U.S. central bank's $85 billion per month asset purchases have suppressed interest rates on long-term loans and put downward pressure on the U.S. dollar.

As Fed officials have been discussing a possible winding down of the so called quantitative easing program, Bank of Japan policy board member Yoshihisa Morimoto in a speech in front of business leaders in Morioka, Japan, said that such a policy shift would trigger rapid withdrawals of capital from emerging economies, which, in turn, would spur a demand for safer currencies, such as the yen.

A stronger yen, however, is not considered advantageous in Japan, as a weaker yen helps its exports remain competitively priced, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Currencies of some emerging economies have already been affected concerns over a possible Fed policy change. The Indian rupee has hit historic lows against the U.S. dollar this week, dropping to 68.80 rupee to the dollar on Wednesday.

The Turkish lira has also record lows against the dollar this week, hitting 2.07 liras.

Morimoto also said the Japanese economy would withstand the impact of a new sales tax scheduled to take effect in April.

"As a trend, I expect the economy to continue growing above its growth potential rate, even though it is likely to be affected by the two-stage sales tax hike," he said.

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