Japan: Core consumer prices rise for third consecutive month
May 25, 2012
In April, the core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, grew 0.1% in seasonally adjusted terms over the previous month, mirroring March's result. According to the statistics bureau, the reading reflected higher costs for clothing and footwear as well as for fuel. Annual core inflation moderated slightly to 0.2% from 0.3% in March, but remained in positive territory for the third consecutive month. Moreover, the print overshot market expectations that had annual core inflation at 0.1%. Meanwhile, annual overall inflation inched down from 0.5% in March to 0.4% in April. The core consumer price index for Tokyo, which is available one month before the national figures and thus is a leading indicator for countrywide inflation, fell 0.8% in May over the same month last year, which was below the 0.5% drop observed in April. According to the median of the Central Bank Policy Board members forecast, core inflation will average 0.3% in the 2012 fiscal year ending in March 2013. In FY 2013/14, the Bank of Japan sees core inflation at 0.7%.