The Bank of Japan may be set to upgrade its assessment of the economy for the first time in almost two years, a Nikkei news report said late Wednesday. The language appearing in recent central-bank policy statements have described a "moderate recovery trend," and a more bullish description would be in line with the government assessment, which was raised in March for the first time in eight months, the report said. Japan's government released data Wednesday showing the economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.4% in the January-March period, well above the consensus forecast for a 1.5% gain tipped in a Wall Street Journal survey of economists. The Bank of Japan was slated to issue its latest monetary decision Friday, with analysts widely expecting no change to the pace of the current monetary-easing program.
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