Japan’s key inflation measure accelerated for the first time in four months, coming largely in line with market expectations that price gains will continue and heightening the Bank of Japan’s dependence on data ahead of its December policy meeting.
Growth in consumer prices excluding fresh food inched up to 2.9% in October from 2.8% in September, staying above the BOJ’s 2% goal for a 19th month, according to the ministry of internal affairs Friday. The median forecast of economists was a gain to 3% amid a reduction of government subsidies for utilities. The impact from those gas and electricity price measures on overall inflation shrank to 0.49 percentage point from 0.98 in September. Hotel prices also helped boost prices thanks to a continued recovery in inbound spending, although gains in processed food prices slowed.