Japan’s Consumer Prices Decline for a Fourth Straight Month

Japan’s Consumer Prices Decline for a Fourth Straight Month
A man cycles past the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Japan’s consumer prices fell for a fourth month, indicating the Bank of Japan may need to do more to counter deflation after expanding monetary easing.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food dropped 0.1 percent in January from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo. The median estimate was for a 0.2 percent decline, in a Bloomberg News survey of 28 economists.

“The data reconfirm Japan’s deflation is deeply rooted,” said Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JP Morgan Securities in Tokyo and a former central bank official. “The Bank of Japan will probably have to act more aggressively going forward.”

The central bank last month set an inflation goal of 1 percent and increased bond purchases by 10 trillion yen ($123 billion) to aid a recovery in the world’s third-biggest economy.

-- Editors: Paul Panckhurst, Lily Nonomiya

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