Bank of Japan Upgrades Economic Outlook for First Time Since 2006

The [B]Bank of Japan[/B] kept overnight interest rates at 0.10%, as expected, and maintained their monthly purchases of government bonds at 1.8 trillion yen. The bank did another step toward easing lending conditions however, announcing it will now take foreign bonds as collateral for borrowing. US, UK, German and French government debt will be accepted. Most notably, the central bank upgraded their economic outlook for the first time since July 2006, saying growth will begin to recover in the second half of the 2009 fiscal year, an improvement from previous expectations of a rebound in the first half of FY2010. The BOJ expects the recovery will be export-driven, saying domestic demand will probably continue to weaken.