Japan's economy emerges from recession, growth weaker than forecast -
By Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan's economy rebounded from recession to grow an annualized 2.2 percent in the final quarter of last year, giving a much-needed boost to premier Shinzo Abe's efforts to shake off decades of stagnation even as the global outlook deteriorates. Still, the return to growth will allow the Bank of Japan to hold off on expanding monetary stimulus in coming months, even as slumping oil prices push inflation further away from its 2 percent target, analysts say. The data will be one of the key factors the BOJ will scrutinize at its two-day rate review ending on Wednesday, where it is widely set to maintain the current pace of asset purchases in its monetary stimulus program. Japan's economy slid into recession in July-September last year, prompting Abe to delay a second sales tax hike initially scheduled in October 2015.