Japan’s Inflation Slows to 2.2%

Japan’s inflation slowed more than forecast in January, highlighting central bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda’s challenge in reflating the world’s third-biggest economy.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 2.2 percent from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said Friday. That was less than the median projection of 2.3 percent. Stripped of the effect of sales-tax increase last April, core inflation — the Bank of Japan’s key measure — was 0.2 percent.

While the tumble in oil prices will pull down inflation in the near term, underlying consumer price trends remain on track for the BOJ’s 2 percent goal, Kuroda said last week. Economists at BNP Paribas SA and JPMorgan Chase & Co. see consumer prices falling in the coming months.


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