Japan's nationwide core consumer prices rose 3.1 percent in August from a year ago, data on Friday showed.
The rise in the core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes volatile food prices, was shy of analyst expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.2 percent increase. In July, core consumer prices rose 3.3 percent.
Excluding the impact of the sales tax hike in April, core CPI rose 1.1 percent from a year ago, slower than the 1.3 percent increase in July. Consumer inflation remains below the 2 percent target the Bank of Japan aims to achieve by sometime next year.
"It's still a high number, but we have seen a slight deceleration since May this year. It's not a big concern but may show that the economy might not be heating up anymore, and this should be a concern for the Bank of Japan," said Takuji Okubo, principal & chief economist at Japan Macro Advisors.