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News Summary: Japan's economy 'picking up'

The Associated Press

SIGNS OF LIFE: Japan's central bank says the world's third-biggest economy is "picking up" as demand recovers in other countries and remains resilient at home.

NO CHANGE: The Bank of Japan ended a policy meeting Wednesday with no change to its strategy of doubling the monetary base to reach a 2 percent inflation target and jolt the economy out of two decades of stagnation.

DEFICT SURGE: Japan's economy grew 3.5 percent last quarter, but progress in increasing exports and boosting corporate investment and wages has lagged. The trade deficit jumped nearly 70 percent over a year earlier to 879.9 billion yen ($8.6 billion) in April, according to preliminary Finance Ministry figures.