Japan April Inflation Rate Weaker than Expected

Japan's consumer price inflation fell to 0.6 percent year-on-year in April of 2018 from 1.1 percent in the prior month and below market consensus of 0.7 percent. It is the lowest rate since last November, as food inflation eased to 5-month low and cost of transport increased less.

In April, prices of food increased by 0.7 percent year-on-year, much slower than a 1.9 percent rise in March. It is the lowest food inflation since a decline in November 2017 as cost rose less for fresh fruits (2.2 percent from 3.3 percent) and fish and seafood (1.3 percent from 4.4 percent), while fell for fresh food (-1.5 percent from 6.3 percent). Meantime, prices of dairy product and eggs went up by 2.6 percent, following a 0.3 percent drop in the previous month.

In addition, cost went up at a softer pace for: fuel, light and water charges (3.6 percent from 4 percent as cost of electricity increased by 4.4 percent, softer than a 5.2 percent rise in the prior month); transport & communication (1.1 percent from 1.7 percent); culture and recreation (0.2 percent from 0.5 percent); and miscellaneous (0.1 percent from 0.5 percent). At the same time, cost continued to fall for housing (-0.2 percent, compared to -0.2 percent) and furniture and household utensils (-1.5 percent from -1.4 percent). On the other hand, cost rose more for medical care (1.9 percent from 1.7 percent); while picked up for clothes and footwear (0.1 percent, compared to a flat reading in March); and inflation was steady for education (0.3 percent).

Core inflation rate, which excludes fresh food, eased to 0.7 percent from 0.9 percent in March, while markets estimated 0.7 percent. It is the lowest figure since September 2017.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices declined by 0.4 percent, the same as in the preceding month.

Japan April Inflation Rate Weaker than Expected

Statistics Japan l Rida | rida@tradingeconomics.com
5/18/2018 8:36:39 AM