Japan’s Core Inflation Reaccelerates to 3.3% in June, Continuing above BOJ’s Target for 15 Months

Japan’s core consumer inflation rate accelerated again in June and remained above the central bank’s 2% target for the fifteenth consecutive month, according to data released on Friday, building to recent indications of expanding price pressures.

Consistent with the forecasts of the experts polled by Reuters, the core consumer inflation index increased 3.3% year-over-year in June. This was somewhat higher than the 3.2% increase seen in May.

The data comes ahead of the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) closely watched policy meeting next week, at which the board will generate new quarterly forecasts and discuss whether conditions are ripe for the bank to begin phasing out its massive stimulus.

Kazuo Ueda, governor of the Bank of Japan, recently gave a signal that the central bank might keep its ultra-loose monetary policy in place for the time being, telling Reuters, “there was still some distance to sustainably and stably achieving the central bank’s 2% inflation target.”