Dec 18, 2020 - Economy & Business

Bank of Japan to assess current programs as core inflation hits 10-year low

Data:; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data:; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Bank of Japan extended its special support programs for businesses by six months and said it would “conduct an assessment for further effective and sustainable monetary easing” after Japan’s core consumer prices fell at the fastest pace in 10 years in November.

Driving the news: November's core consumer price index decline beat out October's historic decline when consumer prices fell by what was then the fastest pace in 10 years.

By the numbers: Prices excluding fresh food fell 0.9% from a year earlier, and a larger drop in energy costs pushed the core index down further after October’s 0.7% drop.

  • November was the fourth straight month the index has been negative.
  • It was zero the two months prior and negative the two months prior to that.
  • The core price index was last positive in March.

Where it stands: The BOJ plans to conduct an examination into why inflation remains far from its 2% target and is falling.

  • Before the meeting, BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he was not overly concerned about recent price declines because special factors including the impact of the government’s discount campaigns to help the service sector are temporary and holding down inflation.
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