Core consumer prices slowed to 2.5 percent in December from a year earlier compared with 2.7 percent increase reported in November. Excluding the impact from increase in the sales tax in April, core prices were up just 0.5 percent, the slowest pace since June 2013 and well below the Bank of Japan's 2 percent target for the coming fiscal year. Core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes fresh food prices rose 2.1 percent, the same as in the previous month.
Year-on-year, the biggest price increases were reported for: fuel, light and water (+4.7 percent), culture and recreation (+3.7 percent), furniture and household utensils (+3.4 percent); clothes and footwear (+3.2 percent) and food (+3.1 percent). Cost of transportation and communication increased by 2 percent, education by 2.2 percent, medical care by 1.5 percent and housing by 0.2 percent.
Core consumer prices in Tokyo, available a month before the nationwide data, are expected to rise 2.3 percent in January.