Japan core CPI stops falling in May for first time in 7 months

TOKYO, June 28 Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:37pm EDT

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TOKYO, June 28 (Reuters) - Japan's core consumer prices were flat in May compared with a year earlier, marking the first time they have stopped falling in seven months, government data showed on Friday.

The reading in the core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes volatile prices of fresh food, matched a forecast by economists in a Reuters poll. It followed a 0.4 percent year-on-year decline in April.

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 0.4 percent in the year to May.

Core consumer prices in Tokyo, which are available a month before the nationwide data and serve as a leading price indicator, rose 0.2 percent in June from a year earlier. That followed a 0.1 percent rise in May, which was the first increase since March 2009. The Tokyo figure also matched a median forecast by economists.

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