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Japan’s Inflation Seen Staying Above BOJ Target Through Year-End

Economic Indicators May 24, 2022 06:22
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© Reuters.

(Bloomberg) -- Japan’s inflation will stay above the central bank’s 2% target level in the final three quarters of this year, according to surveyed economists who raised their forecasts again.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food will rise 2.1% this quarter and next quarter from a year ago, followed by a 2.2% gain in the final three months of the year, according to a survey of 57 economists by Bloomberg News. 

The upward revisions from the previous survey reflect a pattern in which inflation continues to outpace analysts’ expectations. 

While stronger-than-forecast price growth has led other major central banks to raise interest rates, the Bank of Japan is so far sticking with its view that the current cost-push inflation will cool and rock-bottom rates must be maintained to support a fragile recovery.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food increased 2.1% in April from a year earlier, government data showed last week, exceeding a 2% gain forecast by economists. That’s the quickest pace since 2008 after excluding tax hike effects. 

Analysts also see a weaker economic rebound in the current quarter, with gross domestic product forecast to expand at an annualized 4.5% pace compared with a 5.2% view just a month ago. 

The economy contracted in the previous quarter as virus curbs cooled consumption and a ballooning import bill inflated by a weak yen weighed. 

Separately, the au Jibun Bank’s purchasing managers index of activity in Japan’s manufacturing sector edged down 0.3 point to 53.2 in May, with China’s lockdowns to contain the coronavirus and sanctions against Russia exacerbating supply chain disruptions and ramping up input costs.

A measure of the service sector added 1 point to 51.7 as the virus situation stabilized in Japan.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

Japan’s Inflation Seen Staying Above BOJ Target Through Year-End
 

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