Japan’s consumer prices rose the most since 2008 in June, an early sign that the world’s third-biggest economy may be starting to shake off deflation.
Consumer prices excluding fresh food increased 0.4 percent in June from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said in a statement today. The median estimate of 29 economists was for a 0.3 percent gain, a Bloomberg News survey showed. Excluding energy as well, prices dropped 0.2 percent, continuing more than four years of declines.
As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies weaken the yen and energy costs rise, the increase in prices points to a gradual shift away from the deflation that has dragged on the economy for 15 years. After the Bank of Japan began rolling out unprecedented monetary easing in April, the next challenge for Abe is to loosen constraints on the labor market and companies to achieve sustained growth and 2 percent inflation.
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