© Reuters. Shoppers choose products at a drug store in Tokyo, Japan January 10, 2023. REUTERS/Issei Kato
By Kantaro Komiya
TOKYO (Reuters) – A leading indicator of Japanese consumer prices likely rose in January at more than twice the speed of the central bank’s target, hitting another four-decade-high, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.
Inflation data in the world’s third-largest economy has received unusual attention amid market expectations of a shift in the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) ultra-easy monetary policy.
The core consumer price index (CPI) in Tokyo was seen rising 4.2% in January from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 19 economists.
That would mark the eighth straight month of price acceleration and the fastest year-on-year increase since the 4.2% rise in April 1982.
“Inflation likely stayed elevated in January since the effect of the stimulus package, which depresses energy prices, will not fully kick-in until February,” said Shinichiro Kobayashi, principal economist at Mitsubishi UFJ (NYSE:) Research and Consulting, referring to fiscal measures to curb household inflation.
Tokyo’s core CPI, which is released three to four weeks ahead of the nationwide inflation data, showed a downwardly revised 3.9% rise in December.
Earlier on Friday, the nationwide CPI data for December showed a 4.0% gain in core inflation, which excludes volatile fresh food but includes energy items.
The government releases preliminary Tokyo CPI data on Jan. 27 at 8: 30 a.m. (Jan. 26, 2330 GMT).