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Japan's shrinking GDP points to recession, PM under pressure (3)


14:16, November 12, 2012

Other senior ministers also added to the notion that Japan is heading towards a critical economic watershed, with Economics Minister Seiji Maehara saying that conditions now are extremely " severe", as he called on Japan's central bank to unroll further monetary easing to end deflation.

In light of the slew of dire macroeconomic statistics released by the government this month, the Bank of Japan was forced to further loosen its monetary policy in an attempt to underpin the nation's ailing economy and tackle deflation.

The central bank's policy board decided to expand its special asset purchasing facility by 11 trillion yen (137 billion U.S. dollars) to 91 trillion yen and keep its short-term, ultra-low interest rate at between zero to 0.1 percent, in a move widely seen by economists as a move to combat lingering global fallout from the debt-plagued eurozone, as well as slumping trade with China, sparked by Japan's illegal attempts to "nationalize" the Diaoyu islands.

The government also said that the majority of its key indices gauging economic performance have fallen, including industrial output and retail sales, with the former slumping 4.1 percent in the previous quarter and retail sales dropping 3.6 percent -- all among an increasingly harsh employment environment.

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