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EXCERPTS-BOJ Governor Kuroda's comments at news conference

Sept 22 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Wednesday but offered a bleaker view on exports and output, reinforcing expectations the bank will maintain its massive stimulus even as major counterparts eye a withdrawal of crisis-mode support.

The BOJ maintained its assessment on the economy, saying it was “picking up as a trend, although remaining in a severe state due to the impact of the pandemic.”

Following are excerpts from BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s comments at his post-meeting news conference, which was conducted in Japanese, as translated by Reuters:

EXTERNAL DEMAND

“We don’t need to project a clear slowdown in U.S., Chinese growth… We expect external demand to remain solid.

“While the corporate sector remains solid, consumption isn’t picking up.

“It’s not because households lack income. It is more due to the pandemic keeping them from boosting spending… As the pandemic subsided, consumption is expected to strengthen.”

CHINA’S EVERGRANDE WOES

“For now, we see this purely as an individual company’s issue and that of China’s real estate sector… We need to keep an eye out on whether this affects global markets. But for now, I don’t see this turning into a global bigger problem.”

U.S. AND CHINA ECONOMIES

“In China, (coronavirus) infections were quite quick to be suppressed... and its economy recovered steadily. In the United States, various economic indicators show the economy is recovering rapidly. There is a view that China’s recovery may be slowing but its growth has still been solid.

“As for the U.S., it’s said that there are various impacts from the spread of variants, but when looking at actual economic indicators, consumption and output are growing very steadily.”

INTEREST RATES

“Excessive fall in super-long interest rates could hurt consumption, which is partly why we introduced YCC. Not many central banks have taken such a bold step.

“I don’t see recent moves in short-term rates as problematic or run counter to what we are trying to achieve with our monetary policy.”

CONSUMPTION OUTLOOK

“The recent slump in consumption in a way was unexpected. On the other hand, vaccination is proceeding rapidly… I think there are quite some positive factors when looking at the consumption outlook.”

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK

“It’s true uncertainty over the economic outlook is heightening, and could lead to a revision to our outlook. But there’s no change to our basic projection of a cyclical pick-up as a trend.” (Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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