The Bank of Japan on Wednesday left its assessment of the economy largely unchanged despite the second-quarter gross domestic product data released Monday indicating Japan has slipped into a recession.

The central bank’s statement on monetary policy said the economy “has continued to recover moderately as a trend,” unchanged from the previous release Oct. 31.

It noted that “some weakness particularly on the production side,” due mainly to the backlash from front-loaded demand ahead of the April 1 consumption tax hike from 5 percent to 8 percent.

In terms of the future outlook, the statement said that “Japan’s economy is expected to continue its moderate recovery trend.” The bank anticipates that negative effects, including the impact from the front-loaded demand, will gradually dissipate.

Despite its moderately upbeat take on the economy, the BOJ also said it is maintaining its record monetary easing. It is widely believed the bank is taking this action to counter temporary factors, such as weaker demand and sagging oil prices that may negatively affect the ongoing effort to overcome Japan’s “deflationary mindset.”

On the second day of the BOJ Policy Board meeting, the nine members chaired by Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda voted 8-1 to continue its policy of flooding the financial system with liquidity, with the target of increasing the nation’s monetary base at an annual pace of about ¥80 trillion.

The BOJ took financial markets by surprise Oct. 31 by announcing an unexpected expansion of its annual policy target of expanding monetary base by ¥80 trillion, from an already unprecedented scale of ¥60 trillion to ¥70 trillion.

The BOJ’s moderately upbeat assessment stands in stark contrast to Monday’s unexpectedly weak showing in the GDP for the July-September period, the second consecutive quarter of decline and an indication that the economy has slipped into recession.

Prompted by the grim GDP showing the previous day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday announced he has decided to put off by 18 months the second of the two-stage consumption tax hike that was initially scheduled for October 2015, citing its potentially negative impact on the economy.

With the current consumer price index, excluding fluctuation-prone fresh foods, rising about 1 percent year-on-year, including the effects of the consumption tax hike, the BOJ expects the rate of increase will continue around the current level for the time being.

During a news conference Monday, Kuroda said he doesn’t think the central bank is presenting a particularly bullish view.

“When we look at businesses, earnings are very good on a sustained basis, and in that environment, at least capital expenditure plans are quite strong as indicated by various surveys, including the BOJ’s ‘tankan’ survey,” Kuroda said.

He also pointed to the fact that businesses raised their pay scales for the first time in more than 10 years last spring, indicating improved corporate sentiment and having a positive impact on consumer spending.

When the BOJ announced an expansion of its stimulus in October, Kuroda said the decision was made under the assumption that the government would go ahead with the tax hike next October as planned. Although Abe has postponed the increase, Kuroda insisted that the BOJ expanded its easing to make sure that its target inflation rate of 2 percent will be achieved.

“I’m not thinking at all . . . that we should have waited” until Abe made his decision on whether to delay the sales tax hike, he said.

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