"The weakness may be a sign companies are still cautious of raising prices," said a third of the sources.
That caution is in part a product of their experience in 2015, when price rises led to falling sales.
Fast Retailing, owner of Uniqlo brand clothing, reversed price rises last year after they turned consumers away.
So though analysts now think core consumer inflation will rebound in February and reach 1 percent around mid-year, BOJ officials fear such gains, mostly due to higher imported grocery costs, will kill any recovery in consumption.
The BOJ's current estimate is for core consumer inflation to hit 1.5 percent in the fiscal year beginning in April and 1.7 percent the following year, but those estimates, considered overambitious by most analysts, were made in November, before the yen took a tumble from about 102 to the dollar to a trough of more than 118 in early January.
In next week's review, if the BOJ factors in its estimate that a 10 percent fall in the yen would add 0.3 percentage point to inflation in a year, that could push next fiscal year's forecast to around 1.8 percent.
That is still more ambitious than private forecasts of 0.8 percent but could encourage markets to contemplate prospects for a near-term rate hike.
About 40 percent of analysts polled by Reuters this month already expect the BOJ's next move will begin the retreat from its very loose monetary policy, up from 32 percent in December.
So BOJ officials say any upgrade in its price projections next week won't be that big.
Some central bankers are indeed warming to the idea of raising the BOJ's yield curve targets if rising inflation reflects a solid expansion in the economy.
But many of them say there should be no debate of a rate hike until there are clear signs the economy is strong enough to generate sustained wage growth, the sources say.
Till then, the BOJ aims to puncture such speculation, even if it means playing down factors that might boost inflationary expectations.
"There needs to be a general mood among the public that conditions for normalizing policy are falling into place," one of the sources said. "That could take a very long time."
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