Consumer prices rise in Japan

Tokyo, July 31 (IANS) Japan’s consumer prices in June rose 0.1 percent on a yearly basis, marking the 25th consecutive monthly increase but far below the Bank of Japan’s target, government data said on Friday.

The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, stood at 103.4 against the 2010 base of 100, the ministry of internal affairs and communications said.

However, the same measure for Tokyo, a leading indicator of nationwide inflation, fell 0.1 percent in July, the first annual decline since April 2013, Xinhua reported.

The Bank of Japan, has set a two percent inflation target by the first half of fiscal 2016, while the CPI data is far below the central bank’s expectation.

Some analysts project that the bank will need to increase its assets purchases as the economy and inflation remained stubbornly stalled.

It was partly caused by a sharp drop in energy prices. In the reporting period, energy prices, plunged seven percent in June from a year earlier, with gasoline prices falling 14.2 percent and heating oil prices sinking 21.1 percent.

However, the CPI was still in positive territory due to a rise in the prices of hotel stays, food other than perishables and durable goods such as air conditioners and televisions.

Meanwhile, the ministry said average monthly household spending in June decreased an inflation-adjusted two percent from a year earlier for the first fall in two months, due partly to a drop in spending for clothing amid unstable weather conditions.

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