Japan: Economy is ‘Recovering Moderately’

Japan's central bank upgrades its assessment of the economy

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Toru Hanai / Reuters

A man looks at a stock quotation board displaying Japan's Nikkei average as passers-by walk past outside a brokerage in Tokyo Sept. 3, 2013.

The world’s third-largest economy is on the road to recovery, the Bank of Japan announced on Thursday.

“Japan’s economy is recovering moderately,” the BOJ policy board said in a statement, upgrading its assessment from last month when it said the economy was “starting to recover moderately,” according to Reuters.

It’s the strongest language the bank has used since March 2008 when it described the economy as “expanding moderately,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

The upgrade could bode well for supporters of a sales-tax hike that the government is considering to introduce early next year. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to announce in October whether the consumer tax will be raised to 8% from 5% next April.

The bank also voted on Thursday to maintain its stimulus program, pledging to increase base money at a yearly rate of 60 trillion yen ($603 billion) to 70 trillion yen ($700 billion.)