TOKYO : Core inflation in Japan’s capital slowed in September for the third straight month but remained above the central bank’s target, data showed on Friday, adding to recent signs of broadening price pressures in the world’s third-largest economy.
The Tokyo core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes volatile fresh food but includes fuel costs, rose 2.5 per cent in September from a year earlier, against a median market forecast for a 2.6 per cent gain.
It slowed from a 2.8 per cent increase in August but exceeded the Bank of Japan’s 2 per cent target for the 16th straight month.
Analysts expect inflation to keep slowing in coming months reflecting recent declines in commodity prices and the base effect of last year’s sharp rises.
An index that strips away both fresh food and fuel costs, which is closely watched by the BOJ as a better gauge of broad price trends, rose 3.8 per cent in September from a year earlier after a 4.0 per cent gain in August, the data showed.
A spike in global commodity prices last year drove many Japanese companies to shed their aversion to price hikes and pass on higher costs to households, keeping inflation above the BOJ’s target for longer than policymakers initially expected.
The inflation overshoot led the BOJ to make modest tweaks to its bond yield control policy last month, a move investors saw as a shift away from decades of ultra-loose monetary policy.
But Governor Kazuo Ueda has ruled out the chance of an early exit from ultra-loose policy, saying that it needs to wait until wages rise enough to keep inflation sustainably around 2 per cent.