Japan’s nationwide core consumer prices rose 3 percent in September from a year ago, data on Friday showed. The rise in the core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes volatile food prices, was in line with analyst expectations in a Reuters poll. In August, core consumer prices rose 3.1 percent.
In April, the government raised the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent to rein in the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio. It was the first tax increase in 17 years. A second tax hike to 10 percent is planned for next year, however it has not been set in stone. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to make a decision in December based on the state of the Japanese economy.
Below-target inflation has raised speculation that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) could pursue additional stimulus and may push back its inflation target to a later date. Investors will watch the central bank’s policy meeting and biannual Economic Activity and Prices report, due later Friday, for further clues on this front.
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