Consumer prices in Japan gained 2.3 percent on year in March, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.
That exceeded forecasts for 2.2 percent, which would have been unchanged from the February reading.
Core inflation, which strips out the volatile costs of food, advanced 2.2 percent – topping expectations for 2.0 percent, which also would have been unchanged.
Among the individual components, prices for food were up 4.2 percent on year, followed by recreation (3.8 percent), clothing (3.7 percent), fuel (3.6 percent), furniture (2.4 percent), education (2.2 percent), medical care (1.7 percent), housing (0.3 percent) and transportation (0.2 percent).
On a monthly basis, both overall and core CPI were up 0.4 percent.
Among the individual components, prices for clothing jumped 3.0 percent on month, followed by recreation (0.9 percent), transportation (0.8 percent), fuel (0.6 percent), furniture (0.5 percent), education (0.2 percent) and medical care (0.1 percent). Housing and food prices were flat on month.
Inflation in the Tokyo region – considered a leading indicator for the nationwide trend – was up 0.7 percent on year in April. That was in line with expectations, and down sharply from 2.3 percent in March.
Core inflation was up just 0.4 percent on year in Tokyo, shy or forecasts for 0.5 percent and down from 2.2 percent a month earlier.
Among the individual components, prices for fuel were up 4.5 percent on year, followed by food (2.3 percent), education (0.7 percent) and medical care (0.5 percent).
Clothing prices were flat, while recreation costs eased 0.1 percent, housing fell 0.3 percent, transportation lost 0.9 percent and furniture was down 1.3 percent.
On a monthly basis, overall inflation was up 0.4 percent and core CPI added 0.2 percent.
Among the individual components, prices for clothing were up 2.0 percent on month, followed by furniture (1.2 percent), food (1.0 percent), education (0.7 percent), medical care (0.4 percent) and recreation (0.1 percent).
Prices for transportation fell 0.3 percent, while fuel costs dipped 0.2 percent and housing eased 0.1 percent.
Also on Friday, the ministry said:
. The average of household spending in Japan was down 10.6 percent on year in March, standing at 317,579 yen. That beat forecasts for a decline of 11.8 percent following the 2.9 percent drop in February.
The average of monthly income per household stood at 449,243 yen, down 0.3 percent on year. The average of consumption expenditures per household was 351,974 yen, down an annual 11.0 percent.
. The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 3.4 percent on year in March. That beat forecasts for 3.5 percent, which would have been unchanged from the February reading.
The job-to-applicant ratio was 1.1 – slightly below expectations for 1.15, which also would have been unchanged. The labor force participation rate was 59.1 percent, matching forecasts and steady from the previous month.
The number of employed persons in March was 63.19 million, up 210,000 or 0.3 percent on year. The number of unemployed persons in March was 2.28 million, down 180,000 or 7.3 percent on year.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com