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--Japan Apr Core CPI +0.7% Y/Y; MNI Median +0.8%; Mar +0.9% 
--Japan Apr Core-Core CPI +0.4% Y/Y; Mar +0.5% 
--Japan Apr CPI Energy Costs +5.3% Y/Y; Mar +5.7% 
--Japan Apr CPI Mobile Phones +3.9% Y/Y; Mar +26.0% 
--Japan Apr CPI Food Ex-Perishables +1.1% Y/Y; Mar +1.1%
--Japan Apr CPI Household Durable Goods -3.8% Y/Y; Mar -3.3% 
--Japan Apr CPI Electronics Goods -5.0% Y/Y; Mar -2.5% 
--Japan Apr CPI Accommodations -2.3% Y/Y; Mar +0.4% 
--Japan Apr CPI Overseas Holiday Tours +9.8% Y/Y; Mar +5.9%
     TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's national average core consumer price index (excluding
fresh food) rose 0.7% on year in April, with the pace of increase decelerating
further from +0.9% in March and +1.0% in February on lower utility costs, the
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication said on Friday.
     The recent development indicates that the Bank of Japan is unlikely to
achieve its 2% inflation target in the next few years.
     The key points from the April CPI data:
     -- The year-on-year rise in the core CPI (excluding fresh food) slowed to
0.7% in April from +0.9% in March on lower year-on-year increases in the prices
for electricity, mobile phones and hotels.
     -- The16th straight year-on-year rise in April continued to be led by
gasoline and medical services. Overseas holiday tours rose at a faster pace of
9.8% on year in April, up from 5.9% in March.
     -- The underlying inflation rate measured by the core-core CPI (excluding
fresh food and energy) rose 0.4% on year in April, also slowing from +0.5% in
March, which was the largest gain since +0.5% in July 2016.
     -- The prices for services ranging from rents and restaurants to medicine
and communications rose 0.3% on year in April, up from +0.2% in March, partly
due to labor shortages. But the pace of y/y increase remains slow as some
companies are resisting price hikes amid tough competition by investing in
technology and curtailing business hours to cut costs.
     -- Goods prices excluding volatile fresh food prices rose 1.3% on year in
April, with the pace of increase slowing from +1.6% in March. The pace of
increase in overall goods prices decelerated sharply +1.0% in April from +2.0%
in March as the prices for fresh eased after surging late last year and staying
high until recently. The prices for processed food (canned food, bread, snacks,
beverages, etc.), which accounts for about 15% of the total CPI, rose 1.0% on
year in April after +1.0% in March.
     --The total CPI rose 0.6% on year in April, with the pace of increase
decelerating sharply from the 1.1% rise in March due to lower perishable prices.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email: hiroshi.inoue@marketnews.com
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-4670-5309; email: max.sato@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MAJDS$,M$A$$$,M$J$$$,MT$$$$]