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Bank of Japan expands monetary easing plan as economy slows

Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks to the press at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo on October 31, 2014The Bank of Japan ramped up its vast monetary easing programme Friday — sending the yen plunging and stocks soaring — in a surprise move aimed at reviving growth just as the Federal Reserve winds down its own stimulus spree. Speaking after the central bank wrapped up its latest policy meeting, BoJ chief Haruhiko Kuroda said the fresh measures were crucial to keeping Japan on track in its war on deflation, and hinted more policy moves could follow. “The Japanese economy is now at a critical moment in the process of getting out of deflation,” he told reporters in Tokyo, adding that the BoJ would “not hesitate” to pull the trigger on more easing if necessary. The BoJ also slashed its economic growth forecast by half, and trimmed consumer price expectations as a much-touted inflation target looked increasingly out of reach while Tokyo’s bid to kickstart the economy stalls.

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