Japan core CPI falls 0.2 pct year/year in December

TOKYO Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:36pm EST

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TOKYO Jan 25 (Reuters) - Japan's core consumer prices fell 0.2 percent in December from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday, down for a second straight month as the economy struggles to shake off years of deflation.

The fall in the core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes volatile prices of fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood, matched the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, and followed a 0.1 percent year-on-year fall in November.

The so-called core-core inflation index, which excludes food and energy prices and is similar to the core index used in the United States, fell 0.6 percent in the year to December, the data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed on Friday.

The core consumer price index for Tokyo, which is available a month before the nationwide data and serves as a leading price indicator, fell 0.5 percent in January from a year earlier, matching the average estimate of economists.

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