Japan Inflation Rate Rises to 0.3% in February


Japan's consumer prices increased by 0.3 percent on the year in February of 2016 after showing no growth in the previous month and beating market consensus, as cost of food rose further while prices of transportation dropped at a slower pace. Meanwhile, consumer prices in Tokyo, available a month before the nationwide data, decreased by 0.1 percent in March from a year earlier; while core consumer prices, which exclude fresh food, fell 0.3 percent, the biggest decline in almost three years.

Year-on-year, cost of food rose at a faster 2.7 percent, accelerating from a 1.7 percent growth in January. While prices of transportation and communication fell 2.1 percent after a 2.4 percent decline in the previous month.

Additional upward pressure came from: clothes and footwear (+2.5 percent); culture and recreation (+2.2 percent); education (+1.8 percent); miscellaneous goods and services (+0.7 percent); furniture and household utensils (+0.6 percent); and medical care (+0.6 percent). By contrast, cost of fuel, light and water charges dropped sharply by 7.3 percent and housing prices fell by 0.1 percent.

Excluding fresh food items, consumer prices were flat while the so-called core-core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, rose to 0.8 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.1 percent compared to a 0.4 percent drop in January.

In Tokyo, consumer prices decreased by 0.1 percent year-on-year in March. Core consumer prices, which exclude fresh food, fell 0.3 percent, the biggest decline in almost 3 years, matching drop in April 2013.

Statistics Bureau of Japan l Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
3/25/2016 12:43:40 AM