Bank of Japan halves growth forecast for economy to 0.5%

TOKYO (AFP) - Bank of Japan (BOJ) policymakers on Friday halved their economic growth outlook for the current fiscal year, citing lacklustre exports and slack consumer spending after an April sales tax rise dented activity.

The BOJ, which also ramped up its monetary easing plan Friday in a bid to counter the downturn, said it now expects the world's third largest economy to expand 0.5 per cent in the year to March, well down from a 1.0 per cent growth forecast in July.