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TOKYO (MNI) - The year-on-year rise in Japan's nationwide consumer price
index accelerated in September from the previous month, but Bank of Japan
officials remain cautious about their inflation outlook as the pace of price
gains is still slow.
BOJ officials maintain the view that the inflation rate is still slow
responding to a sustainable economic expansion and the tightness of labor market
conditions, as firms remain cautious about raising retail prices.
The national average core CPI (excluding fresh food) rose 1.0% on year in
September, recording the 21st straight year-on-year rise, following +0.9% in
But energy prices continued to support the recent gradual pickup in
inflation as energy prices rose 8.1% on year September, following a 7.4% gain in
August. The contribution to total CPI was 0.60 point, higher than 0.55 points in
The core-core CPI (excluding fresh food and energy) -- a key indicator of
the underlying trend of inflation -- rose 0.4% on year in September, unchanged
from August's level.
Higher core CPI was expected, as the Tokyo core CPI, as a leading indicator
for the nationwide price data, rose 1.0% in September, up from 0.9% in August.
BOJ officials were encouraged by higher food prices excluding volatile
fresh food and prices for processed food.
Goods prices excluding volatile fresh food prices rose 1.7% on year in
September, with the pace of increase accelerating from August's 1.5% gain. The
pace of increase in overall goods prices was unchanged from August at 2.1% in
Prices for processed food (canned food, bread, snacks, beverages, etc.),
which accounts for 15% of the total CPI that BOJ officials are focused, rose
1.5% on year in September after a 1.2% gain in August, reflecting higher energy
and labor costs.
Prices for eating out rose 1.0% on year in September, slowing from 1.1% in
August, indicating that upward pressure on the service prices from higher labor
and material costs continued but hasn't increased.
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