TOKYO, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Tuesday cut its assessments on eight out of nine regional economies in the country compared with three months earlier for the second straight quarter, as manufacturing activities has been dampened by the continued slowdown in overseas economies.
All regions except Hokkaido revised their assessments downward, saying a mild recovery in the economy has halted, the economy has been weakening or it has remained unchanged, the central bank said in a quarterly report released after a one-day meeting of its branch managers.
Earlier the day, Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said the central bank will continue with powerful monetary easing, as the economy likely to remain weak for the time being.
Shirakawa told the quarterly meeting of the central bank's branch managers that "the Bank of Japan recognizes it is very important for the economy to overcome deflation as early as possible and return to the sustainable growth path with price stability."
He said that there remains a "high degree" of uncertainty concerning the domestic economy, including the European debt problem and aftermaths of soured Japan-China ties.
The BOJ governor said the country's exports and industrial production have decreased due to a slowdown in overseas economies, and business sentiment in the manufacturing sectors remains cautious.
But Shirakawa also said the economy is likely to return to a recovery path if domestic demand remains stable and overseas economies recover from a deceleration phase.