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Data: Investing.com; 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.

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - Health

Drug prices in the U.S. are much higher than in other countries

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Prescription drug prices in the U.S. are more than 256% higher than other 32 other countries, with the gap driven by brand-name drugs, a new report by nonpartisan RAND Corporation shows.

The big picture: Drug spending in the U.S. jumped by 76% between 2000 and 2017, and the costs are expected to only increase over the next decade, per the report.

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.

First look: Biden summons top CEOs on supply chain

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden will meet Monday afternoon with CEOs of big retailers, grocers and consumer-products firms to send this message, according to the White House: Products will be on shelves for holiday shopping.

Zoom out: Black Friday sales rebounded from 2020.