TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s core consumer price inflation likely rose to an eight-year high in August as companies outrun rising raw material costs fueled by a weak yen, highlighting persistent price pressures, a Reuters poll showed. in the economy.
Economists estimate that the nationwide Core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which excludes volatile fresh food prices but includes energy, rose 2.7% last month from a year earlier.
It marks the fastest rise since November 2014 and follows a 2.4% annual gain in July.
“Inflation appears to be higher than in July,” said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute, adding that costs for things like utility bills, processed food, overnight accommodations and dining out have likely risen.
“As moves to pass higher import raw material costs continue, the August CPI nationwide is likely to show a similar result,” he added.
Minami said the projected rise in core CPI would be the fastest in 31 years when excluding the impact of previous sales tax increases.
The outlook also means that core CPI has remained above the 2% inflation target from the Bank of Japan (BOJ) for the fifth consecutive month, indicating the continued pressure households are facing due to higher prices.
The survey also showed the Bank of Japan keeping its short-term target rate at -0.1% and its pledge to guide 10-year government bond yields around 0% at its next policy meeting on September 21-22.
The Bank of Japan set its target for inflation at 2% in 2013, during the first year of the term of its current governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, who has repeatedly said that the central bank will continue its stimulus efforts, because any rise in inflation will be temporary. .
The government will release CPI data at 8:30 am on September 20 (2330 GMT, September 19), two days before the central bank ends its policy meeting.