Flat-line: Japan inflation barometer points to zero price growth by summer
Japan Times -- Mar 04
The inflation outlook is looking dismal for the Bank of Japan as cheaper oil and falling mobile phone charges threaten to push price growth toward zero by mid-summer.

The Bloomberg Inflation Barometer, which draws on eight drivers of prices, points to a sharp slowing in the months ahead as lower oil costs feed their way into electricity bills. Over the past eight years the barometer has shown a 0.84 correlation with consumer prices six months into the future.

Mobile phone carriers could complicate the BOJ’s quest to revive inflation as they come under political pressure to lower charges further. And making matters worse, free education measures planned by the government are already projected by the BOJ to shave another 0.3 percentage point from inflation later in the year.

Flat-lining of prices would heap pressure on the central bank to take action or justify its decision not to. Any softening in the yen, further wage gains or jump in oil prices could still help the BOJ stick to its view that temporary factors don’t warrant an immediate response.

News source: Japan Times
Jan 25
Narita Airport east of Tokyo is crowded with tourists from China as the Lunar New Year holiday period gets underway. (NHK)
Jan 25
A former care home worker accused of mass killings in Japan has rejected his lawyers' argument that he is mentally unfit to stand trial. (NHK)
Jan 25
A panel of Japanese experts says that over the next 30 years, many people living along the Nankai Trough face a higher chance of experiencing a deadly tsunami than being injured in a traffic accident. (NHK)
Jan 25
A huge monument featuring the Olympic symbol has been lit up in Tokyo six months before the Japanese capital hosts the Games. (NHK)
Jan 25
Lebanon and Japan have about 40 days to decide whether ousted Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi boss Carlos Ghosn will be extradited to Japan or stand trial in Lebanon, a judicial source and a source close to Ghosn said on Thursday. (Japan Times)
Jan 25
To encourage more customers to go digital, Japan’s largest bank is offering depositors who give up their paper bankbooks a ¥1,000 reward. (Japan Times)
Jan 24
A Japanese person with severe pneumonia has been hospitalized in Wuhan, a senior official of the Japanese Embassy in Beijing said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Jan 24
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament on Thursday the government will ask airlines to make announcements on flights from China urging passengers to notify cabin crew if they feel ill, as a new coronavirus continues to spread. (Kyodo)
Jan 24
A 73-year-old man arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty kept 73 dogs at his home in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture, police said. (Japan Today)
Jan 24
A 61-year-old postman failed to deliver thousands of postal items that he kept at his home instead, police said Thursday. (Kyodo)