Challenges Abound for BOJ after Japan Inflation Slows

Japan’s inflation slowed to its lowest pace in half a year, underlining the challenge to central bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda’s efforts to reflate the world’s third-biggest economy.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food increased 3.0 percent in September from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo, in line with a median projection in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Stripped of the effect of April’s sales-tax increase, core inflation — the Bank of Japan’s key measure — was 1.0 percent.

Weak price gains are a blow to Kuroda, who is targeting 2 percent inflation and said in July there was no possibility that the bank’s price gauge would fall below 1 percent. The BOJ is forecast to maintain its unprecedented easing today, even as oil prices decline and the board considers moderating language on the consumer price outlook.


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