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
Sep 23
Severe tropical storm Tapah is battering parts of western and southwestern Japan. It is expected to affect most of the country through Monday. (NHK)
Sep 22
Japanese weather officials say Typhoon Tapah will likely approach the country's southwestern island of Kyushu on Sunday. (NHK)
Sep 22
Airline companies operating in Japan have canceled more than 300 domestic flights scheduled for Sunday due to Typhoon Tapah. (NHK)
Sep 22
A private women's university in Miyagi Prefecture said Saturday it will start accepting from April 2021 students who were born male but identify themselves as female, becoming the first private institution to admit such transgender students. (Japan Today)
Sep 21
A large severe tropical storm is approaching Japan and expected to gain strength. It may affect wide areas across the country over the three-day weekend. (NHK)
Sep 21
The Rugby World Cup has kicked off in Japan. It's the first time an Asian country has hosted the tournament. (NHK)
Sep 21
Saitama Prefectural Police launched a murder investigation following the discovery of the body of a missing boy, 9, at an apartment block in Saitama City early Wednesday, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Sept. 18). (tokyoreporter.com)
Sep 21
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Friday to step up efforts to reform social security as Japan faces a multitude of challenges stemming from its rapidly graying population and low birthrate. (Japan Times)
Sep 21
A court awarded damages Wednesday to a woman in her 30s who broke up with her same-sex partner because of infidelity, recognizing their common-law partnership despite same-sex marriage not being legal in the country. (Japan Times)
Sep 21
Toyota Motor has unveiled the first yacht under its Lexus luxury brand, with a 450 million yen ($4.17 million) price tag in Japan that aims it squarely at the super-rich. (Nikkei)