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Japan's central bank maintains easy monetary policy

(Xinhua)    14:15, March 17, 2015

TOKYO, March 17-- the Bank of Japan (BOJ), the Japanese central bank, decided Tuesday to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy and assessment of the country's economy as moderately recovering, after a two-day policy meeting here.

It downgraded its outlook on consumer prices and said the year- on-year rate of increase in the consumer price index "is likely to be about 0 percent for the time being" due to declining energy prices.

The BOJ maintained the view that inflation expectations "appear to be rising on the whole from a somewhat longer-term perspective" despite its changed view on prices.

The BOJ hopes that wage increases will help boost consumer spending, as many major companies are expected to raise pay scales for their employees during the ongoing spring wage talks, so as to balance the negative impacts brought by low crude oil prices.

Current relatively low prices of crude oil have also weighed on Japan's consumer prices, with the core consumer price index rising only 0.2 percent in January from a year earlier, even smaller than the 0.5 percent rise in the previous month.

The figure, which excluded the impact of the sales tax hike in last April, was the lowest growth since May 2013, triggering skepticism about the chances of the central bank achieving its 2- percent inflation goal in the period centered on coming fiscal 2015, said local report.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Yao Chun)

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