Japan inflation at highest level since 2014

Japan inflation at highest level since 2014

A vendor sells fishes at a shop at the Ameyoko shopping district in Tokyo May 20, 2022. — Reuters pic

Tuesday, 20 Sep 2022 8:45 AM MYT

TOKYO, Sept 20 — Inflation in Japan hit 2.8 per cent in August, the highest level since 2014, government data showed Tuesday, as soaring energy prices bite.

The last time such figures were seen, prices had been artificially bolstered by an increase in VAT. Excluding years when tax hikes impacted the rate, August’s inflation was the fastest pace in nearly 31 years.

Data from the internal affairs ministry showed electricity, gas and petrol were among the key contributors to rising prices.

The figure for August was slightly above the 2.7 per cent consensus forecast by experts, and comes on the heels of a 2.4 per cent rise in July.

It comes ahead of this week’s meeting of the Bank of Japan, which has bucked the trend of peers elsewhere and stuck with its ultra-loose monetary policy.

Other central banks have opted to hike interest rates to fight soaring inflation, but the BoJ views the current price increases as temporary and linked to exceptional events such as the war in Ukraine.

The growing gulf between the bank’s policy and rate hikes elsewhere has caused the yen to slump, reaching a decades-low level against the dollar.

The BoJ’s longstanding target is for sustained 2 per cent inflation, which it views as necessary to turbocharge the world’s third-largest economy. — AFP