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Central bank to take another look in light of shrinking GDP

TOKYO -- The Bank of Japan will use this week's policy board meeting to review its overall assessment that the economy "has continued to recover moderately," taking into account preliminary July-September gross domestic product data revealing a second straight quarter of decline.

     The central bank has maintained its moderate-recovery assessment since September of last year. When it announced additional monetary easing Oct. 31, Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda insisted that the "mechanism" of monetary easing stimulating investment and consumer spending, in turn pushing up prices, remained intact. But the economy's stall following the April 1 consumption tax hike has dragged on longer than expected.

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