Japan's consumer prices fall for fourth year, prompting monetary easing
TOKYO (AP) - Japan's central bank governor reaffirmed today plans for aggressive monetary easing as data showed the consumer price index fell in 2012 for the fourth straight year, highlighting its challenge in fighting deflation.
Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa told reporters today that it would take substantial effort to achieve a 2 per cent inflation target, announced earlier this week, aimed at breaking a prolonged spell of falling prices that are thought to be discouraging business investment and stalling recovery for the world's third-largest economy.
The consumer price index (CPI), which excludes fresh foods, fell 0.1 per cent in 2012, adding to pressure on the central bank to make progress in re-energising the economy. The CPI also dipped 0.2 per cent in December, as expected.
The central bank has pledged to do everything it can to meet the new inflation target declared under pressure from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has made reviving the recession-stricken economy his top priority since taking office a month ago.