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Japan consumer prices rise in March for third straight month: govt
[TOKYO] Japanese consumer prices rose in March for the third straight month on the back of higher energy costs, official data showed Friday, as Tokyo battles to end years of deflation.
After stripping out the volatile cost of fresh food, nationwide consumer prices increased 0.2 per cent from a year earlier, the internal affairs ministry said, matching analyst expectations.
That follows a 0.2 per cent rise in February and after the Bank of Japan trimmed its annual inflation forecast, warning that its official target - already running four years late - was likely to be delayed once again.
Earlier this month the International Monetary Fund raised its growth forecast for Japan's economy this year and next, citing a pickup in exports, but warned that a shrinking labour force and below-forecast inflation would curb longer-term expansion.