Japan's core consumer prices show first fall in 40 months
Japan Times -- May 23
Core consumer prices fell from a year earlier in April, recording the first decline in 40 months, government data showed Friday.

Prices are thought to have been dragged down by the lower cost of oil and weak travel demand in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with further declines expected in coming months.

The nationwide core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food items, fell 0.2 percent after rising 0.4 percent in March, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said — a far cry from the Bank of Japan’s 2 percent inflation target.

“Energy prices, which have a big impact on consumer prices, could fall further in the coming months when the effect of falling oil prices is mirrored in electricity and gas prices,” a ministry official said.

Analysts are keeping a close watch on whether the price trend will be deflationary going forward, which would hit companies’ profits and may add downward pressure on wages.

News source: Japan Times
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