TCW Group Inc. says the Bank of Japan has made a mistake and should exit quantitative easing as soon as possible. Invesco Ltd. says the only error was not starting sooner.

The split in views at the funds, which manage a combined $971 billion, comes as BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda kept monetary policy unchanged Thursday and his board said inflation expectations seem to be rising. TCW is among critics that say easing has only served to artificially inflate asset prices above what is merited by the real economy, and the longer it continues, the bigger the eventual crash. TCW recommends buying sovereign debt as a haven, while Invesco says sell.

Aggravating the divergence are mixed signals from an economy that slumped into its second recession in less than two years last quarter, even as unemployment hovers near an 18-year low.