TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s core consumer inflation in June likely slowed to its weakest in nearly two years and exports fell for a seventh straight month, a Reuters poll showed, keeping the central bank under pressure to expand its stimulus program.
The core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes volatile fresh food costs, was expected to rise 0.6% in June from a year earlier, a poll of 15 economists showed, compared with 0.8% in May.
June - Core - Inflation - July - Index
June core inflation would be the weakest since July 2017 when the index rose 0.5%.
“Falls in oil prices started to appear in prices of electricity and city gas. Gasoline costs also weighed on core CPI,” said Kenta Maruyama, economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting.
CPI - % - Prices - Electricity - City
“We expect core CPI will stay around 0.5% year-on-year as prices of electricity and city gas will contract and drop in mobile charges will push down consumer inflation.”
Japan’s major mobile carriers such as NTT Docomo Inc and KDDI Corp cut mobile charges to some users from June.
Analysts - Impact - Reduction - Charge - Fees
Analysts said the impact from a reduction in mobile charge fees was likely limited so far.
SMBC Nikko Securities estimates the cut in mobile charges likely pushed down core CPI by 0.03 parentage point in June from a year earlier.
Internal - Affairs - Ministry - Data
The Internal Affairs Ministry will publish data on...
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