Updated: 04/30/2014 12:18 | By Agence France-Presse

Bank of Japan holds fire on easing measures

The Bank of Japan on Wednesday held fire on expanding its stimulus programme despite tepid industrial production data and a recent sales tax rise that have fanned fears over the strength of the country's recovery.


Bank of Japan holds fire on easing measures

A woman shops at the Itoyokado supermarket in Tokyo on April 1, 2014, the day a sales tax rise came into effect - by Yoshikazu Tsuno

In a brief statement, policymakers said the decision was unanimous after wrapping up a one-day meeting, with markets now looking to comments from BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda at 3:30 pm local time (0630 GMT).

The central bank is also set to release its semi-annual report on economic growth and prices, which will be seen as a key measure of whether the BoJ still thinks it can reach a 2.0 percent inflation rate target by next year.

Kuroda has stuck to the ambitious timeline despite growing doubts among analysts, with many saying the BoJ would be forced to further expand its monetary easing measures.

The BoJ's price target-- and the massive easing campaign launched last year -- are a cornerstone of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's bid to breathe new life into the world's number three economy after years of deflation and tepid growth.

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