Japan: Core inflation remains negative for a fourth month in a row
March 2, 2012
In January, the core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, grew 0.1% in seasonally adjusted terms over the previous month, which was above December's flat reading. Annual core inflation, however, remained in negative territory for the fourth consecutive month at minus 0.1%, which mirrored the figure observed in December but overshot market expectations that had inflation at minus 0.2%. Meanwhile, annual overall inflation stepped up to 0.1% in January, which contrasted the minus 0.2% recorded in December and, in fact, represented the first positive reading in four months. Core consumer prices in Tokyo, which are available one month before the national figures and are considered a leading indicator for countrywide inflation, dropped 0.3% in February over the same month last year, after falling 0.4% in January.