Japan's economy inches into inflation for first time since March 2020

Japan Times -- Jun 20
Japan’s inflation has edged into positive territory for the first time in 14 months as rising commodity costs have fed higher gasoline prices at the pump, according to data released Friday before a central bank policy decision.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food ticked up 0.1% compared with a year earlier, lifted by a 20% jump in gas prices, the internal affairs ministry reported. Economists had predicted flat prices overall.

While even the smallest uptick in inflation is likely to be seen positively by the Bank of Japan, price momentum is still far more subdued than in the United States and other countries where central banks are starting to project possible rate increases.

The BOJ forecasts inflation staying below its 2% target for the foreseeable future, meaning its main stimulus will probably stay in place for years to come.

Excluding fresh food and energy, consumer prices dropped 0.2% from the previous year, compared with a -0.3% forecast by economists.

Overall inflation fell 0.1% from a year earlier. Analysts had predicated -0.2%.

- Japan Times