By Leika Kihara
TOKYO (Reuters) – Big data is providing some surprising results for the Bank of Japan and helping ease concerns about pressure on the economy during the coronavirus pandemic, which could influence the way the BOJ manages the world’s most radical monetary stimulus.
By tapping data provided by Google showing people’s movement via mobile phones, the BOJ found that households’ discretionary spending rebounded faster and more vividly in Japan than in other countries after lockdown steps were lifted in May.
Other big data also showed a marked rebound in durable goods sales such as personal computers, which offset some of the weakness in spending on services including leisure, eating-out and travel.
The revelation helped convince BOJ policymakers to conclude the economy has past the worst and did not need immediate, additional monetary support.
“We expect the economy to recover gradually and steadily,” BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said after