Tokyo, Japan (4E) – Japan’s key measure of inflation climbed in September, according to official data released Friday, hovering near its fastest rate in almost five years.
In September, the core consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.7 percent from a year ago, driven up by rising cost of gasoline and electricity. The increase is in line with economists’ view in the survey of The Wall Street Journal and the Nikkei.
The result is the fourth consecutive month of increase, and followed a 0.8 percent gain in August, which was the fastest rate since November 2008, when it climbed 1 percent. Core CPI does not include fresh food prices which are usually volatile.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government and the Bank of Japan have vowed to bring out the economy from 15 years of deflation, where falling prices and wages have constrained spending by individuals and businesses, resulting to slower growth. In April, the central bank pledged that it will work to meet its 2 percent annual inflation target in two years.
Economists, however, say that the core CPI gain is largely because of higher energy prices as almost all of the 50 nuclear reactors in the country remain online, boosting fuel importation. National prices were actually flat on the year in September when prices of food and energy are excluded.