Japan inflation ticks up in Sept but way off BoJ target

Tokyo: Japan’s consumer prices rose for the ninth straight month in September, official data showed on Friday, but inflation remained well below the central bank’s target in the world’s third largest economy. Prices rose 0.7 per cent from a year earlier after stripping out volatile prices for fresh food, the internal affairs ministry said, buoyed by a rise in energy costs such as fuel, light and water charges.
But excluding fresh food and energy, prices edged up just 0.2 per cent in September compared to the same month the previous year.
The figures are far off the Bank of Japan’s 2.0 per cent inflation target — seen as crucial in a long battle against deflation that is blamed for holding back the once-booming economy.
“We expect inflation to settle around 0.5 per cent in coming months, leaving little scope for tighter monetary policy,” Marcel Thieliant, senior Japan economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to client.
“Energy inflation should soon start to slow again” due to lag between prices of electricity and gas and prices of crude oil, he said. — AFP