19 Mar 2009

No change to interest rate in Japan

5:23 am on 19 March 2009

The Bank of Japan has left interest rates unchanged at 0.1%, saying it will buy more government bonds to kick-start the economy.

The policy of buying more government debt is known as quantitative easing and is designed to increase the supply of money circulating in the economy.

The BBC reports the same policy is being pursued by the Bank of England.

The Bank of Japan also said that it was considering strengthening commercial banks by providing them with loans.

Japan's economy contracted by 3.3% in the last quarter of last year. It has been hit by sharp falls in exports, domestic demand and corporate profits.