Japanese economy to show recovery by mid-year, says BOJ chief

TOKYO (AP) - Japan's new central bank governor says the economy has stopped weakening and should show signs of recovery by middle of the year.

Mr Haruhiko Kuroda, who spoke to lawmakers on Thursday on the Bank of Japan's semi-annual report, said there was still "a high degree of uncertainty" about the economy given the crisis in Europe, the tenuous state of the US recovery and relations with China.

Mr Kuroda said prices are unlikely to rise for the next few months but that afterward Japan would see some progress toward its inflation target as the economy moved toward a "moderate recovery path."

The central bank and government have set a 2 per cent inflation target, aiming to end years of growth-inhibiting deflation.

Mr Kuroda has vowed to achieve that goal within two years.