The inflation data from Japan today is going to reignite speculation of BOJ policy change

The May inflation data from Japan is here:

It shows the core-core rate inflation, which removes both fresh food and fuel and is closely watched by the BOJ as a key barometer of underlying domestic demand-driven price trends, hit a 42-year high at 4.3%.

The core reading, which removes fresh food but leaves in energy prices, stayed above the Bank’s 2% target for the 14th month in a row. Inflation above target for over a year has already sparked talk of policy change, and that’s going to be reignitied by today’s numbers. Countering that is the BOJ insisting, over and over, that it expects inflation to fall from around September/October as cost-push factors dissipate. The BOJ want to see ‘demand-pull’ inflation from wage rises before its comfortable that CPI is at 2% in a sustainable and stable manner.

At its July meeting (on the 27th and 28th) the Bank is, at the very least, expected to revise its inflation forecasts higher. The Bank issues its quarterly review at the July meeting. The BOJ’s current estimation for expected core consumer inflation in the current fiscal year ending in March 2024 is 1.8%. This seems unlikely.

Bank of Japan Governor Ueda

This article was written by Eamonn Sheridan at Source