• Kyodo

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The Bank of Japan started its two-day policy meeting Thursday, with policymakers expected to keep intact its ultra-loose monetary policy to beat deflation and its economic assessment stating that the domestic economy is “recovering moderately.”

The central bank is likely to continue easing its monetary grip to stimulate the economy in order to achieve its 2 percent inflation target in around April 2015 as consumer prices have started rising.

Consumer prices excluding fresh foods rose 0.8 percent in August from a year earlier for the third straight monthly increase on higher gasoline and other energy prices, posting the highest margin of increase since November 2008.

The nine-member Policy Board is also expected to discuss the economic impact of the sales tax hike next April announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this week. The government will raise the 5 percent levy to 8 percent.

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