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Japan CPI core unchanged at 0.5% yoy in Dec

Japan CPI core (all item ex-food) was unchanged at 0.5% yoy in December, below expectation of 0.6% yoy. But that’s still the second increase in a row, and the fastest pace in nearly two years. All item CPI accelerated from 0.6% yoy to 0.8% yoy. All item ex-food, ex-energy CPI dropped from -0.6% yoy to -0.7% yoy.

In the minutes of December BoJ meeting, a board member said, “we’re seeing signs of change in the price-setting behavior of Japanese firms, which had been said to be cautious about raising prices for fear of seeing sales volume fall,.”

Another member noted, “it’s unlikely Japan will see wages rise as sharply as in the United States. But there’s a significant chance both economic growth and inflation could overshoot expectations,”

Earlier this week, BoJ raised 2022 and 2023 core CPI projection. But it also indicated there is no rush to change the ultra-loose monetary policy.

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