BOJ Shirai: prices could miss forecast due to overseas slowdown

KUMAMOTO, Japan Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:22pm EST

KUMAMOTO, Japan Nov 29 (Reuters) - Bank of Japan board member Sayuri Shirai said on Thursday there was a risk that price growth could undershoot the central bank's forecast, as the overseas slowdown keeps the economy on a weak note.

"While both upside and downside risks to the economy exist, I personally see the downside risks as greater," Shirai told business leaders in Kumamoto, southern Japan.

The former IMF economist has voted with the majority since joining the board in April last year. She is considered to be among the more pessimistic board members on Japan's economic outlook.

The BOJ set a 1 percent inflation target in February and has eased monetary policy four times so far this year to beat deflation and ease the pain on the export-reliant economy from a strong yen and weakening global demand.

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