Fierce price wars are posing a threat to economic recovery by crushing smaller retailers, according to the minutes of the Nov. 17 Bank of Japan Policy Board meeting released Wednesday.

“Some board members noted such price drops are posing the risk of dragging down the economy by squeezing the profitability of small and midsize retailers, which cannot keep up with the price-cutting competition,” the minutes say. “Some members said the intensification of the price-cutting competition is actually accelerating the bipolarization of the economy in view of the rising number of failures of small and midsize self-employed businesses.”

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