| 15 April 2024, Monday |

Inflation in Japan hits highest level since 1981

Fuelled in part by higher energy cost, inflation in Japan rose to its highest level since 1981 in November, as per data released on Friday
The data released by internal affairs ministry showed that core consumer prices (excluding volatile fresh food costs) rose by 3.7 per cent in November compared to a year earlier.
The biggest price jump was seen in prices of processed food items. Prices were also higher for electricity and durable goods like air conditioner.
The November figure is well below the sky-high levels that have sparked concern in the United States, Britain and elsewhere, but far exceeds the Bank of Japan’s long-term goal of 2.0 percent.
Even excluding fresh food and energy, the index was up 2.8 percent.
“Although low by international standards, Japanese consumer price inflation at three percent to four percent is high enough to feel uncomfortable with stagnant wage growth,” wrote Sarah Tan, economist at Moody’s Analytics, in a note.
The headline core consumer price index (CPI) has risen consistently since the beginning of the year, putting pressure on the Bank of Japan to tweak its longstanding monetary easing policies.
The US Federal Reserve and other central banks have sharply hiked interest rates this year to tackle inflation.
But Japan, which since the 1990s has swung between periods of sluggish inflation and deflation, has gone against the grain and continues to keep interest rates at ultra-low levels as it tries to kickstart its economy.

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