Monday, December 5

Consumer inflation in Japan’s capital hits 33-year high

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TOKYO — Core consumer prices in Japan’s capital, a leading indicator of nationwide figures, rose 3.4% in October from a year earlier, data showed on Friday, marking the fastest annual pace since 1989 in a sign of broadening inflationary pressure.

The rise in the Tokyo core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes volatile fresh food but includes oil costs, exceeded a median market forecast for a 3.1% gain and followed a 2.8% gain in September.

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Inflation in the Tokyo area thus exceeded the central bank’s 2% target for five straight months.

The data came as the Bank of Japan meets for a two-day policy meeting that ends later on Friday, when it is expected to revise up its inflation forecasts but keep monetary policy ultra-loose to underpin a fragile economic recovery.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has repeatedly said the bank must maintain ultra-low interest rates on the view the recent cost-push inflation will likely prove temporary. (Reporting by Takahiko Wada and Leika Kihara; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Sam Holmes)