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Consumer Prices in Japan Fall for 5th Straight Month

Thursday, 25 Apr 2013 | 7:32 PM ET
Tokyo, Japan
Tony Bonaventure | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images
Tokyo, Japan

Japan's core consumer prices fell 0.5 percent in March from a year earlier, down for a fifth straight month, government data showed on Friday, suggesting the Bank of Japan faces a tough task to achieve its 2 percent inflation target.

The fall in the core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes volatile prices of fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood, compared with a median market forecast for a 0.4 percent annual fall. It followed a 0.3 percent decline in the year to February.

(Read More: After 'Shock and Awe,' What Next From the BOJ?)

The so-called core-core inflation index, which excludes food and energy prices and is similar to the core index used in the United States, fell 0.8 percent in March from a year earlier, the data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed.

Core consumer prices in Tokyo, available a month before the nationwide data, fell 0.3 percent in April from a year earlier, after a 0.5 percent decline in March. The result compared with a median market forecast for a 0.4 percent fall.