• The Associated Press


The Bank of Japan held its benchmark interest rate steady at 0.5 percent at the end of a two-day policy meeting Tuesday amid recent price declines and concerns about the U.S. economy.

The BOJ Policy Board’s widely expected decision was unanimous, the central bank said in a statement.

In February, the BOJ raised the benchmark interest rate half a percentage point to 0.5 percent. Economists do not expect another hike for some time because recent data show that the core consumer price index in February fell 0.1 percent from the previous year, the first decline in 10 months.

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