Japan’s consumer price index fell by 0.5% in March, the government said. Prices have now declined for five consecutive months, underscoring the monumental task facing Governor Haruhiko Kuroda as he works to reverse 15 years of deflation.
Deflation, or falling prices, has a chilling effect on economic growth. It can encourage consumers to hold back on spending in the belief that prices will decline in the future.
In a bid to spark inflation, Kuroda is injecting money into the economy on a massive scale. Earlier this month, the central bank said it would start purchasing longer-term debt and securities like ETFs at an annual pace of 60 to 70 trillion yen.
The more assets the bank buys, the more yen it pushes into the economy. The point is to drive up annual inflation to a target of 2%.
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