Core consumer prices in Tokyo rose 4.3 percent from a year earlier in January, hitting the highest level in nearly 42 years, as widespread price hikes in food, energy and other items deal a blow to households, government data showed Friday.
The core consumer price index, excluding volatile fresh food items, for the Japanese capital remained above the Bank of Japan's 2 percent inflation target for the eighth straight month and adds pressure on the central bank to tighten monetary policy. The pace of increase accelerated from last month when the inflation rate was 3.9 percent.
Core CPI for Tokyo, seen as an indicator of what to expect nationwide, was up for the 17th straight month and marked the highest since a 4.3 percent rise in May 1981, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.
An increasing number of companies have been passing on higher costs of energy and raw materials, stemming from Russia's war in Ukraine and the depreciation of the yen, to consumers in recent months.
In the reporting month, the prices of food other than perishables and of energy costs rose 7.4 percent and 26.0 percent from a year earlier, respectively. City gas surged 39.7 percent and electricity was up 24.6 percent.
The overall gain in core CPI came despite lower accommodation prices which fell 2.8 percent amid the government's subsidy program aimed to boost the tourism sector.
At the latest monetary policy meeting in mid-January, the BOJ left its ultralow rate policy unchanged, a month after its surprise decision to raise its ceiling on the 10-year yield to 0.5 percent from 0.25 percent, a move considered an effective interest rate hike.
It says ultralow rates are still needed to prompt companies to raise wages and to spur stronger demand to support price increases.
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