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Japan CPI core rose back to 3.5% in April, core-core hit 42-yr high

April saw Japanese consumer prices accelerating, with CPI accelerated from 3.2% yoy to 3.5% yoy. That put a halt to the slowdown of headline inflation from 4.3% in January.

Even more significantly, core CPI (which excludes fresh food) rose from 3.1% yoy to 3.4%. This metric has been above BoJ’s 2% target for an uninterrupted 13 months, signifying persistent inflationary pressure.

In the realm of core-core CPI, which excludes both fresh food and energy, the increase is even starker, rising from 3.8% yoy to 4.1%. This figure is the highest it has been since September 1981, marking a nearly 42-year peak.

Looking at some details, services inflation increased from 1.5% yoy to 1.7%, the highest in 28 years since 1995 (excluding the impact of sales tax hikes). Durable goods prices soared 9.8% yoy, and food prices accelerated from 8.2% yoy to 9.0%, hitting the highest level in almost 47 years since 1976. Energy prices, however, bucked the trend with a yoy decrease of -4.4% yoy.

Despite these inflationary pressures, there is no clear indication that BoJ is preparing to exit its ultra-loose monetary policy. The bank projected CPI to average 1.8% and core CPI at 2.5% for the current fiscal year, but given the current data, it is likely that these projections will be revised upward in the next release.

Full Japan CPI release here in Japanese.

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