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Briefing: Japanese Inflation Is Flat in Year to February

Japan’s consumer inflation was flat in the year to February as low energy costs and weak consumption put a lid on price growth, government data showed on Friday. A separate index calculated by Japan’s central bank to strip out the effects of energy and fresh food prices showed consumer inflation at 1.1 percent in the year to February, unchanged from January. The data reinforces a dominant view that the Bank of Japan will be forced to cut its inflation forecasts and push back the timing for hitting its 2 percent price target. Koya Miyamae, senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities, said, “The B.O.J. is falling into a vicious cycle in which it remains under pressure for further easing even as it has few effective policy means available.”

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