Consumer inflation in Japan’s capital accelerates, keeps BOJ under pressure
TOKYO – Core consumer prices in Japan’s capital, Tokyo, rose 3.5 percent in April from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday, beating market forecasts in a sign of broadening inflationary pressure in the world’s third-largest economy.
The data comes hours before the Bank of Japan’s policy meeting that concludes on Friday, where the board is likely to produce new inflation forecasts that could offer clues on how soon the central bank could phase out its massive stimulus.
The increase in Tokyo’s core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes volatile fresh food but includes fuel costs, was faster than a median market forecast for a 3.2 rise. It accelerated from a 3.2-percent increase in March.
The core-core CPI, which strips away both fresh food and fuel costs, rose 3.8 percent in April from a year earlier, pacing up from a 3.4-percent gain in March, the data showed.
The rise in the Tokyo inflation data, which is seen as a leading indicator of nationwide trends, may cast doubt on the BOJ’s view that the recent cost-driven price rises are temporary, some analysts say.