By Kantaro Komiya
TOKYO (Reuters) – A leading indicator of Japanese consumer prices likely rose in January at more than twice the speed of the central bank’s target, hitting another four-decade-high, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.
Inflation data in the world’s third-largest economy has received unusual attention amid market expectations of a shift in the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) ultra-easy monetary policy.
The core consumer price index (CPI) in Tokyo was seen rising 4.2% in January from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 19 economists.
That would mark the eighth straight month of price acceleration and the fastest year-on-year increase since the 4.2% rise in April 1982.
“Inflation likely stayed elevated in January since the effect of the stimulus package, which depresses energy prices, will not fully kick-in until February,” said Shinichiro Kobayashi, principal economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting, referring to fiscal measures to curb household inflation.
Tokyo’s core CPI, which is released three to four weeks ahead of the nationwide inflation data, showed a downwardly revised 3.9% rise in December.
Earlier on Friday, the nationwide CPI data for December showed a 4.0% gain in core inflation, which excludes volatile fresh food but includes energy items.
The government releases preliminary Tokyo CPI data on Jan. 27 at 8:30 a.m. (Jan. 26, 2330 GMT).
(Reporting by Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Sam Holmes)