Business

Japan’s core consumer prices slip for first time in over 3 years

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

TOKYO • Japan's core consumer prices fell for the first time in more than three years last month on an annual basis, as weak oil prices and coronavirus lockdown measures heightened deflation risks.

The April data was released just before the central bank announced a new loan scheme yesterday aimed at boosting lending to small and mid-sized firms hit by the pandemic.

The weak prices come after the virus knocked Japan's economy into recession in the first quarter, as consumer and business activity slumped, derailing the Bank Of Japan's (BOJ) efforts to achieve its elusive 2 per cent inflation target.

The core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes volatile fresh food prices, slipped 0.2 per cent in the year to April, government data showed yesterday, its first negative reading since December 2016.

That was below the median market forecast of a 0.1 per cent decline, and followed a 0.4 per cent increase in March.

"It's likely that demand will rebound to some extent when the coronavirus ends, but there's no mistake that (it) will be pushing down prices over the coming two months," said chief economist Yuichi Kodama of Meiji Yasuda Research Institute.

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

Japan suffered nearly two decades of deflation – or sustained periods of price declines – until 2013, when the economy rose from the doldrums, thanks in part to monetary easing rolled out by BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

Consumer price deflation is expected to deepen in the months ahead, as the worsening economic outlook forces consumers to tighten their purse strings and petrol and utility costs to fall in line with weaker oil prices.

The so-called core-core price index, which excludes food and energy prices, grew 0.2 per cent last month, much slower than a 0.6 per cent increase in the previous month.

Analysts said the central bank was unlikely to be pressured into a rate cut by the declining trend of prices, evRead More – Source