Inflationary momentum in Japan showed signs of easing in September, with all-item CPI decelerating to 3.0% yoy, down from 3.2% yoy in the prior month. Core CPI, which strips out the volatile food prices, also showed a downtrend, registering at 2.8% yoy, a dip from 3.1% yoy. Furthermore, core-core CPI, which excludes both food and energy prices, declined marginally from 4.3% yoy to 4.2% yoy.
Remarkably, core inflation dipped below the 3% mark for the first time since August 2022. Nevertheless, it remains above BoJ’s 2% target, marking the 18th consecutive month of surpassing this benchmark.
The detailed breakdown of the data indicates that energy prices were a significant drag, plunging by -11.7% yoy. This downturn can be attributed to the government’s proactive measures to trim utility bills, resulting in double-digit falls in electricity and city gas prices. On the contrary, food prices remained on an upward swing, posting 8.8% yoy increase.
There are reports suggesting an upward revision in BoJ’s core CPI forecast for fiscal 2023. Sources familiar with the bank’s deliberations indicate a possible revision from 2.5% to nearly 3.0%. All eyes will now be on BoJ ‘s policy meeting scheduled for Oct 31, where a new outlook report is anticipated.