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Japan Inflation April 2023

Japan: Inflation rises in April

Inflation came in at 3.5% in April, which was up from March’s 3.2%. Food prices ticked up, driving the acceleration.

The trend pointed up slightly, with annual average inflation coming in at 3.3% in April (March: 3.2%). Meanwhile, core inflation rose to 3.4% in April, from the previous month’s 3.1%.

Finally, consumer prices increased 0.64% from the previous month in April, accelerating from the 0.38% rise logged in March. April’s result marked the highest reading since April 2014.

Our panelists expect the acceleration in inflation seen in April to be short-lived. They expect inflation to retreat back below the Bank of Japan’s 2% target in Q4 2023, as the current bout of above-target inflation is largely driven by cost-push factors. Recently higher-than-expected wage growth poses an upside risk. Data from this year’s spring wage negotiations—known as shunto—suggest that wages could increase the most since the early 1990s in 2023.

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