Japan consumer inflation up 0.3 per cent on-year in April: govt

A woman looking at items outside a discount drug store in Tokyo, Japan, on May 28, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A woman looking at items outside a discount drug store in Tokyo, Japan, on May 28, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's core consumer prices rose 0.3 per cent in April from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday, keeping inflation distant from the central bank's 2 per cent target.

The rise in the core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes fresh food prices, compared with a median market forecast for a 0.2 per cent increase.

An increase in Japan's sales tax hike last April inflated consumer inflation by 2.0 percentage point until March this year, according to Bank of Japan estimates. Since some companies waited until May last year in passing on the tax hike, there is a 0.3 point boost from the tax hike for this year's April CPI, according to the estimates.

When excluding that effect, the April nationwide core CPI was flat year-on-year.

The jobless rate in April fell to 3.3 per cent from 3.4 per cent in March, data from the internal affairs ministry showed on Friday, while household spending fell 1.3 per cent in April from a year earlier in price-adjusted real terms, government data showed.

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