Tokyo core inflation likely double BOJ's 2% target in January: Reuters Poll
© 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).

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