BoJ's Haru: deflation unlikely to end this year

Bank of Japan (BOJ) Policy Board member Hidehiko Haru has suggested that Japan is unlikely to overcome deflation by the end of 2004, saying greater increases in consumption holds the key to a full economic recovery.

Even if Japan achieves targeted economic growth for fiscal year 2003 and 2004, persistent price falls are unlikely to end by next March 31, Haru said in a recent interview.

"To end deflation, supply-demand gaps need to be narrowed by expanding domestic demand further," he said, addi