Japan lifts growth forecast

The Bank of Japan said on Wednesday 28 april that it expects the country's economy to expand at an even greater rate than it forecast six months ago, but repeated that mild deflation will continue in the current fiscal year.

In its twice-yearly outlook report, the bank said economic growth would range between 3.0% and 3.2% in the year to March 2005, up from its October forecast of 2.3-2.6%.

"With production and corporate profits rising, momentum for a positive business cycle is expected to be