Japan Deflation Deepens

Japan’s consumer prices fell the most in two years, underscoring the challenge facing Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda as he works to meet a 2 percent inflation target.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food slid 0.5 percent in March from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo. The median estimate of 25 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 0.4 percent decline. Overall prices dropped 0.9 percent.

Today’s data will be no surprise for the BOJ, which this month said that it expects prices to keep declining for “the time being” even after unveiling a plan for unprecedented easing. The bank today kept its pledge to expand the monetary base, and later may raise its forecasts for consumer prices to signal confidence it will reach its inflation target by 2015, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News this month.


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