Overall consumer prices in Japan gained 2.2 percent on year in February, the Ministry of Communications and Internal Affairs said on Friday – below forecasts for 2.3 percent and down from 2.4 percent in January.
Core CPI, which excludes the volatile prices of food, added an annual 2.0 percent. That was also shy of expectations for 2.1 percent and down from 2.2 percent in the previous month.
Among the individual components, prices for food were up 4.1 percent on year, followed by clothing, fuel and recreation (all 3.5 percent), education (2.2 percent), medical care (1.8 percent), furniture (1.6 percent) and housing (0.3 percent. Transportation prices were down 0.4 percent.
On a monthly basis, overall inflation was down 0.2 percent and core CPI eased 0.1 percent.
Among the individual components, prices for transportation were down 0.9 percent on month, followed by food (-0.4 percent), clothing (-0.3 percent) and fuel (-0.2 percent).
Prices for recreation climbed 0.6 percent, followed by furniture and education (0.1 percent. Prices for medical care and housing were flat.
Overall inflation in the Tokyo region, considered a leading indicator for the nationwide trend, was up 2.3 percent – in line with forecasts and unchanged from the previous month.
Core CPI in Tokyo was up 2.2 percent, also in line and unchanged.
Among the individual components, prices for fuel climbed 6.3 percent on year, followed by food and recreation (both 3.8 percent), education and medical care (both 2.2 percent), clothing (2.1 percent), transportation (1.4 percent) and furniture (0.6 percent).
On a monthly basis, overall Tokyo inflation was up 0.4 percent and core CPI added 0.5 percent.
Among the individual components, prices for clothing jumped 3.1 percent on month, followed by recreation (1.3 percent), fuel (1.0 percent), furniture (0.9 percent), transportation (0.8 percent) and medical care (0.2 percent). Prices for education were flat.
Also on Friday:
* The Ministry of Communications and Internal Affairs said that the average of household spending in Japan was down 2.9 percent on year in February, coming in at 265,632 yen. That topped forecasts for a decline of 3.2 percent following the 5.1 percent drop in January.
The average of monthly income per household stood at 488,519 yen, down 0.7 percent on year, while the average of consumption expenditures per household was 291,387 yen, down an annual 3.6 percent.
Among the individual components of the survey, spending on furniture plunged 18.9 percent, while education was down 10.2 percent, housing dropped 7.4 percent and medical care dipped 6.4 percent.
* The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 3.5 percent in February, the Ministry of Communications and Internal Affairs said – in line with expectations and down from 3.6 percent in January.
The jobs-to-applicant ratio was 1.15. also matching forecasts and up from 1.14 in the previous month.
The participation rate was 59.1 percent, up from 59.0 a month earlier.
The number of employed persons in February was 63.22 million, an increase of 390,000 or 0.6 percent on year.
The number of unemployed persons in February was 2.26 million, a decrease of 60,000 or 2.6 percent on year.
* The value of retail sales in Japan was down 1.8 percent on year in February, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said, coming in at 10.723 trillion yen.
That missed forecasts for a decline of 1.5 percent following the 2.0 percent fall in January.
Sales from large retailers advanced 1.3 percent on year to 1.499 trillion yen – beating expectations for an increase of 0.7 percent following the flat reading in the previous month.
On a monthly basis, retail sales added 0.7 percent – missing expectations for 0.9 percent following the 1.9 percent decline a month earlier.
Commercial sales were down 3.1 percent on year to 36.472 trillion yen, the data showed, while wholesale sales fell 3.7 percent to 25.749 trillion yen.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com