BoJ notes signs of improvement

The Bank of Japan on Friday was relatively upbeat by recent standards about the country's economic prospects.

The central bank's Policy Board said on Friday that economic conditions had continued to deteriorate but said that falls in exports and production are beginning to level out against the backdrop of inventory adjustments both at home and abroad.

"Although domestic demand is likely to continue to weaken, exports and production, after levelling out, are expected to start recovering and p