PM Abe Drives Pickup

A gauge of Japan’s prices ended four years of declines, signaling progress in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to stamp out deflation and drive a sustained economic revival.

Prices excluding energy and fresh food were unchanged from a year earlier, after sliding every month since December 2008, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo. That matched the median forecast of 19 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.

Advances in countering falling prices may help Abe sustain confidence in the nation’s recovery and encourage companies to raise wages as a sales-tax increase planned for April threatens to deal a blow to consumption. Fiscal and monetary stimulus are underpinning a revival in the world’s third-biggest economy after 15 years of deflation.

Bloomberg

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