posted at 22:50
Author Name: Hiroshi Hiyama
Lacklustre Japan data paints gloomy picture for Abenomics
Japanese consumer inflation came in at 2.9 percent in October compared with a year earlier, official data showed, matching market forecasts but slowing from 3.0 percent in September. Prices mainly rose largely because Tokyo raised the sales tax from 5.0 percent to 8.0 percent on April 1. Adjusted for the hike, nationwide core inflation rate came in at 0.9 percent, against 1.0 percent in the previous month and its lowest level since October 2013. The weak reading makes the Bank of Japan's 2.0 percent inflation target - which it initially aimed to hit in 2015 - look increasingly out of reach. Figures showed factory production in October edged up a better-than-expected 0.2 percent on-month, the second straight increase, as exports improved. Separate figures showed the country's unemployment rate slipped to 3.5 percent from 3.6 percent, while retail sales rose 1.4 percent in October. Household spending fell 4.0 percent on-year, the seventh successive decline. Preliminary GDP data this month showed Japan's economy shrank 0.4 percent, or at an annualised rate of 1.6 percent, in the July-September quarter.

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