Flat-line: Japan inflation barometer points to zero price growth by summer
Japan Times -- Mar 04
The inflation outlook is looking dismal for the Bank of Japan as cheaper oil and falling mobile phone charges threaten to push price growth toward zero by mid-summer.

The Bloomberg Inflation Barometer, which draws on eight drivers of prices, points to a sharp slowing in the months ahead as lower oil costs feed their way into electricity bills. Over the past eight years the barometer has shown a 0.84 correlation with consumer prices six months into the future.

Mobile phone carriers could complicate the BOJ’s quest to revive inflation as they come under political pressure to lower charges further. And making matters worse, free education measures planned by the government are already projected by the BOJ to shave another 0.3 percentage point from inflation later in the year.

Flat-lining of prices would heap pressure on the central bank to take action or justify its decision not to. Any softening in the yen, further wage gains or jump in oil prices could still help the BOJ stick to its view that temporary factors don’t warrant an immediate response.

News source: Japan Times
May 24
The government will no longer use the term "lifelong singles" as a label for people who have not married by age 50, deeming the term inaccurate as Japanese are increasingly tying the knot later in life, officials said Thursday. (Japan Today)
May 24
Many parts of Japan saw the mercury top 30 degrees Celsius on Thursday. Weather officials are warning of unseasonal high temperatures over the weekend. (NHK)
May 24
Police in Japan are stepping up security for an upcoming visit by US President Donald Trump. (NHK)
May 24
Japan's new supercomputer Fugaku is set to begin operations around 2021 with the country aiming to regain the title of building the world's fastest computer, replacing its current supercomputer K, government-backed research institute Riken said Thursday. (Japan Times)
May 23
Kyoto Prefectural Police have arrested a 23-year-old male Australian national who is suspected of scrawling graffiti in dozens of locations in Kyoto City, reports Fuji News Network (May 22). (tokyoreporter.com)
May 23
Carriers in Japan and Taiwan have become the first in Asia to say they will not sell Huawei Technologies' new smartphones in the wake of U.S. restrictions, with a South Korean peer saying it may follow suit. (Nikkei)
May 23
The International Olympic Committee says boxing is set to maintain its place in the 2020 Tokyo Games, but that the sport's international association should be excluded from organizing the events due to a number of problems. (NHK)
May 23
Sony Corp. will tackle game addiction, its chief executive said Wednesday as the World Health Organization prepares to formally recognize it as a disorder. (Japan Times)
May 23
Junnosuke Taguchi, a former member of Japanese boy band KAT-TUN, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana, the Narcotics Control Department said. (Japan Times)
May 23
Tokyo Electric Power Company has put on hold its plans to hire foreigners under a new type of work visa in decommissioning work at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (NHK)