TOKYO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan expects the country's economy to continue expanding moderately but it must keep an eye out on how the coronavirus outbreak could affect production and inbound tourism, a senior central bank official said on Friday.
The economy may have contracted sharply in October-December due to slowing overseas demand, the hit to consumption from last year's sales tax hike and a string of natural disasters, BOJ Executive Director Eiji Maeda told parliament.
"Japan's economy is expected to continue expanding moderately as a trend. But we need to be vigilant against various risks such as the impact the coronavirus outbreak could have on output and spending by inbound tourists," he said. (Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chris Gallagher)