Japan's economic data laying groundwork for sales tax hike: Minister
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Improvements in the jobless rate, industrial production and consumer prices are helping to pave the way for the government to implement a planned increase in the sales tax, Japanese Economics Minister Akira Amari said on Friday.
Mr Amari, speaking to reporters, also said a rise in core consumer prices at the fastest pace in nearly five years shows that the economy is in the process of escaping deflation.
"If it's a question of whether today's data is positive or negative for implementing the sales tax, then you could say it's positive," he said.
"Japan is escaping from deflation."