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For the first time in 4 years, Japan drops "deflation" from economic view as prices pick up

Published on Dec 24, 2013 10:19 AM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan dropped the term "deflation" in describing its economy for the first time in four years amid signs of consumer prices picking up, an indication the government has made progress in its battle with 15 years of grinding price falls.

It said prices were holding firm, in a monthly economic report issued on Tuesday. That compared with saying the economy was approaching an end to deflation in its previous report.

This marks the first time "deflation" has not been used since November 2009, when it started describing the economy as being in mild deflation in the wake of the global financial crisis. It first used the word deflation in its monthly report in 2001.

Still, the government stopped short of declaring a victory in its battle against deflation, citing the possibility the economy may slide back into a trend of persistent price falls amid risks from overseas economies.

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