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Japan's central bank says economy picking up

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May 21, 2013 11:47 PM EST | AP


TOKYO — Japan's central bank says the world's third-biggest economy is "picking up" as demand recovers in other countries and remains resilient at home.

The Bank of Japan ended a policy meeting on Wednesday with no change to its strategy of doubling the monetary base for the sake of reaching a 2 percent inflation target and jolting the economy out of two decades of stagnation. That outcome was expected.

The central bank said in a statement, though, that there is a "high degree of uncertainty concerning Japan's economy" and that prices show no signs yet of rebounding.

Japan's economy grew 3.5 percent in the last quarter, but progress in increasing exports and boosting corporate investment and wages has lagged.