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BoJ holds off new easing measures as tax hike looms

Published on Mar 11, 2014 12:39 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - The Bank of Japan held off launching fresh monetary easing measures on Tuesday, saying the economy was picking up, despite slowing growth in the last quarter of 2013 and fears that a looming tax hike will dent the recovery.

Policymakers kept in place the central bank's existing asset-purchasing scheme - which aims to stoke growth by pumping huge amounts of money into the financial system - after a two-day policy meeting.

"Japan's economy has continued to recover moderately, and a front-loaded increase in demand prior to the consumption tax hike has been observed," the BoJ said in a statement.

"The pick-up in business fixed investment has become increasingly evident as corporate profits have improved... Housing investment has continued to increase and private consumption has remained resilient."

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