BOJ raises assessment of economy

The Bank of Japan slightly raised its assessment of the economy on Wednesday 16 March, saying in its latest monthly report that industrial production is flat, rather than weak - the first upgrade since last June.

In its February report, Japan's central bank had said the economy was recovering but there was some weakness, mainly in industrial output. This month's upgrade follows stronger-than-expected industrial production data for January.

The central bank said exports were "starting to pick up

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