BoJ report paints bleak picture of Japan's economy

JAPAN - The Bank of Japan on Tuesday painted a bleak picture of the world's second largest economy in its monthly report, pointing to lower capital investment, weak private consumption and a harsh lending environment for small companies seeking to raise funds.

The central bank left its overall assessment of the economy - that it continues to deteriorate - unchanged for a second month, after lowering it for much of last year.

But it sounded a slightly less pessimistic note on near term prospects