Japan April consumer prices post biggest jump in over 7 years

  TOKYO Reuters – Japan‘s core consumer inflation in April rose above the central bank’s 2 target, hitting a more than sevenyear high as increases in energy and commodity costs are causing broader price hikes that are pressuring households.pdivdivdiv classBodysc17zpet90 cdBBJodiv

  pThe rise in consumer prices is making it harder for the Bank of Japan BOJ to convince markets it will keep monetary policy ultraloose and as the gains fuel public concerns about pushing up living costs.p

  pThe nationwide core consumer price index CPI, which excludes volatile fresh food costs but includes those of energy, surged 2.1 in April from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday.p

  pThat marked the fastest rise in a single month since March 2015 and matched the median forecast in a Reuters poll.p

  pThe gain was much stronger than a 0.8 yearonyear rise in March, as the impact of mobile phone fee cuts from April last year that have pulled down overall CPI since then starts to fade from yearly comparisons.p

  pThe overall rate of price increases in Japan has remained modest compared with much sharper rises in the United States and other advanced economies, as sluggish wage growth in the worlds thirdlargest economy makes it harder for firms to raise prices.p

  pThe BOJ has retained its massive monetary stimulus as it seeks to have inflation stably reach 2 on the back of strong wage growth, even as a weaker yen pushes up food and energy prices and other major central banks are tightening policy.

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