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Japan's CPI rose 0.8 percent, jobless rate held steady at 3.8 percent in January

Japan's CPI rose 0.8 percent, jobless rate held steady at 3.8 percent in January

Japan's core consumer price index rose 0.8 percent in January on year, the government said Friday, amid concerns that rising oil and commodities prices could dampen consumer appetite.
It also said that the country's jobless rate remained unchanged at 3.8 percent in January from the month earlier.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that the 0.8 percent rise in the core consumer price index in January from a year earlier marked the fourth straight month of increases.
The reading was slightly below a 0.9 percent increase forecast by economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires and Nikkei. In December, the core index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, rose 0.8 percent after gaining 0.4 percent in November.
The data indicate that rising prices for imported oil and commodities are exerting upward pressure on the cost of living in Japan.
Because higher costs for food and gasoline sap consumers' spending power, there is concern that they may cut spending on cars, TVs and other luxury items, thus hampering economic growth. Worsening consumer sentiment, which hit its lowest point in four and a half years in January, is adding to those concerns.
The core CPI for the Tokyo metropolitan area, considered a leading indicator for nationwide consumer prices, rose 0.4 percent in February after rising 0.4 percent the previous month, the data showed.
That marks the fourth straight month of increases and was slightly worse than economists' forecast for a 0.5 percent rise.
The ministry also said Friday that the jobless rate held steady at 3.8 percent on month, matching forecasts by economists polled by Dow Jones.
The ministry said the total number of jobless was down 80,000 on year, marking the 26th consecutive month of decline.
The rate dropped to 3.8 percent in November after registering 4.0 percent in both September and October.


Updated : 2020-12-02 21:40 GMT+08:00