BOJ huddles to mull upgrade

Kyodo

The Bank of Japan started a two-day policy meeting Wednesday, with policymakers likely to consider upgrading its assessment of the economy for the seventh consecutive month amid improvement in corporate sentiment and solid consumer spending.

The nine-member policy Board is expected to mull whether to add the word “recovery” to its statement to be released after the meeting. It would be the first time since January 2011 for the central bank to use the term “recovery” in its economic assessment.

The move comes after the BOJ’s “tankan” quarterly survey showed that business confidence among large Japanese manufacturers returned to positive territory in June for the first time in seven quarters, boosted by recovering exports amid a weakening yen and improving U.S. economy.

Sales at department stores are also increasing, as rising stock prices have stirred hopes for an economic recovery.