Japan reported a 1.3 percent on-year rise in its nationwide core consumer price index (CPI) for the month of December, a sign that the economy is making progress on ending years of deflation.
The reading was above expectations for a 1.2 percent rise in a Reuters poll and marked a fresh five-year high.
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December's reading also brings inflation one step closer to the Bank of Japan's 2 percent target under Abenomics - a series of policy measured unrolled by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to dig the Japanese economy out of a rut.
Core-core CPI excluding food and energy prices rose 0.7 percent on year in December, matching its August 1998 high.
Separately, Japan reported a 1.1 percent on-month rise in December industrial output, just shy of the Reuters forecast for a 1.2 percent rise.
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Manufacturers surveyed said they see output rising 6.1 percent in January, above the previous forecast of 4.6 percent.
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