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Japan’s core consumer prices rise 2.8pc

ANN/THE JAPAN NEWS – Core consumer prices in fiscal 2023 increased by 2.8 per cent, rising for the third straight year on higher food prices, according to government data.

The core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes often volatile fresh food prices, averaged 105.9 in the year that ended last month, against the base year of 2020, the internal affairs ministry said.

The growth surpassed the Bank of Japan’s two percent inflation target for the second year in a row, although the rate of increase slowed compared to the previous year’s 3.0 per cent.

Growth in prices of food excluding perishables accelerated to 7.5 per cent from 5.4 per cent, posting the fastest increase since 11.4 per cent in fiscal 1975. Prices of milk and eggs surged in response to higher feed prices. Many other food items marked price rises, including confectionery and prepared food.

Accommodation service prices climbed 25.5 per cent, reflecting an increase in foreign tourists visiting Japan.

Energy prices plunged 8.0 per cent. The government’s subsidies pushed down electricity fees by 15.5 per cent and city gas fees by 11.7 per cent.

The overall CPI, which includes fresh food prices, rose 3.0 per cent. The index excluding fresh food and energy prices climbed 3.9 per cent, the highest increase since 4.0 per cent in fiscal 1981.

A fishmonger walks through a street market in Tokyo, Japan. PHOTO: AFP