It had to happen eventually…Japan’s core CPI finally experienced some year-over-year lift. In “Japan Core CPI Rises First Time Since 2008“, Reuters reports:
“Japan’s core consumer prices rose in April from a year earlier for the first time in more than two years as the impact of school tuition fees faded and commodity costs crept up, but underlying prices remained weak as the March earthquake hurt consumption…
…A government policy to subsidize school tuition fees is no longer distorting annual changes in prices, as more than a year has passed since the policy was introduced. The move was estimated to have pushed down overall prices by about 0.5 percent.”
OK. So this lift is not likely to last given the special adjustment, but it is a nice break from the regular drone of deflationary news. As I have stated before, I tend not to pay much attention to official government statistics on inflation, but this headline alone made me pause. The rest of the article summarizes the prospects for Japan’s post-disaster recovery economy.