In December, prices of food increased by 1.8 percent year-on-year, recovering from a 0.1 percent fall in November and 1.3 drop in October. It was the highest food inflation since December 2016 as cost increased for fresh food (5.1 percent from -4.7 percent), fish and seafood (4.1 percent from 3.5 percent) and fresh fruits (8.9 percent from 8 percent). Meantime, prices fell less for dairy product and eggs (-1 percent from -1.5 percent).
Also, cost increased at a faster pace for: culture and recreation (0.4 percent from 0.3 percent) and miscellaneous (0.7 percent from 0.5 percent), while inflation was steady for: fuel, light and water charges (5.2 percent, as cost of of electricity went up by 6.4 percent, following a 6 percent rise in the prior month); medical care (1.6 percent); transport & communication (0.8 percent) and education (0.4 percent).
On the other hand, prices continued to fall for: housing (-0.1 percent from -0.1 percent); furniture and household utensils (-0.9 percent from -0.5 percent) and clothes and footwear (-0.3 percent from -0.3 percent).
Core inflation rate, which exclude fresh food, remained at 0.9 percent, it highest since March of 2015.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, compared to a 0.7 percent increase in the preceding month.
In Tokyo, consumer prices rose 1.3 percent year-on-year in January 2018 while markets estimated a 1.1 percent rise. Core consumer prices, which exclude fresh food went up by 0.7 percent, slightly below expectations of a 0.8 percent gain.