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Japan Finance Minister Aso sees economy continuing a moderate recovery

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso arrives for the start of the G20 ministerial meetings, during the IMF/World Bank's 2014 Spring Meetings in Washington April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Friday that the economy is continuing a moderate recovery and he is closely watching economic data in the current quarter before the government decides whether to raise the sales tax again next year.

Aso was speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, following data on Thursday that showed the economy suffered its worst contraction in April-June since the March 2011 earthquake as the sales tax hike in April hit private consumption.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Chris Gallagher)