Japan national CPI (all-item) accelerated from 0.8% yoy in December, up from 0.5% yoy, beat expectation of 0.7% yoy. CPI core (ex-fresh food), rose to 0.7% yoy, up from 0.5% yoy, beat expectations. CPI core-core (ex-fresh food, energy) also rose to 0.9% yoy, up from 0.8% yoy and matched expectations. While core CPI remains well below BoJ’s 2% target, the pickup should be welcomed by the central bank.

In the minutes of December BoJ meeting, some members expressed concerns that gloomy global outlook could underscores market expectations. A few members noted “considering the risk that overseas economies could recover only to a small extent or slow further, the outlook for exports could not be viewed optimistically.”

Falling global demand might also hurt household income. Some noted that “Close attention should be paid to how developments in corporate profits … would affect winter bonuses.” Capital spending has shown signs of weakness, which is a “matter of concern” too.

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