RPT-Tokyo core CPI rises to 22-yr high after April tax hike

Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:42pm EDT

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TOKYO, April 25 (Reuters) - Core consumer prices in Tokyo, a leading indicator of nationwide inflation, rose 2.7 percent in April from a year earlier, the fastest gain since 1992 as an increase in Japan's sales tax drove up prices across the board.

The increase in the core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices but include oil products, was slightly less than economists' median forecast for a 2.8 percent rise and followed a 1.0 percent gain in March.

Consumer price data for the Tokyo area is released one month ahead of nationwide data. The Bank of Japan estimates that the sales tax hike - to 8 percent from 5 percent effective April 1 - will add 1.7 percentage points to Japan's consumer inflation in April.

Nationwide core consumer prices in March rose 1.3 percent from a year earlier, a 5-1/2 year high, data from the internal affairs ministry showed on Friday, a sign the economy is steadily emerging from 15 years of mild deflation.

That fell slightly short of a median market forecast of a 1.4 percent gain and followed a 1.3 percent increase in February, which was the fastest rise since October 2008. (Reporting by Leika Kihara and Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Dominic Lau)

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