RPT-BOJ to continue with powerful easing -Shirakawa

Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:00pm EST

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TOKYO Jan 15 (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said on Tuesday the central bank will continue with powerful monetary easing because the economy is likely to remain weak for the time being.

"Exports and factory output are declining as overseas economic growth continues to slow," Shirakawa said in a speech to a quarterly meeting of the central bank's regional branch managers.

Sources say that the BOJ, which eased monetary policy five times in 2012, will consider expanding stimulus again and double its inflation target to 2 percent this month. The bank has been under pressure from new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for bolder action to beat deflation.

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