BOJ keeps monetary policy intact, says economy recovering

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s central bank has wrapped up its final meeting of the year on an upbeat note, citing signs of improvement in exports, investment and industrial production.

The Bank of Japan kept its ultra-lax monetary policy and its key interest rate of negative 0.1 percent unchanged in the two-day meeting that ended Tuesday.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is raising interest rates as the U.S. recovery gains momentum. But the BOJ says it will persist with its use of asset purchases and ultra-low interest rates as long as necessary to jolt Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, out of stagnation.

The BOJ’s policy statement said slowing growth in China and other emerging markets, Britain’s plan to leave the European Union and the impact of changing U.S. policy on financial markets were key risks.