Japan Nov consumer inflation likely to hit fresh four-decade high - Reuters poll

TOKYO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Japan's nationwide consumer price inflation likely hit a fresh 40-year high in November, as firms increasingly passed on high energy, food and raw material costs to households, a Reuters poll showed.

November's nationwide core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes volatile fresh food prices but includes energy, will likely show a rise of 3.7% from a year earlier, according to the poll.

That would be above the prior month's annual rise of 3.6% and would mark the biggest jump since the 4.0% seen in December 1981.

"While the rate of increase of energy prices is slowing, the reason is that continuing price hikes of food items are pushing up (prices)," economists at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute said, adding that firms were passing on higher costs to consumers more broadly.

The government will release the CPI data at 2330 GMT on Dec. 22.

Despite the price pressures, which are especially posing challenges to those earning low incomes, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has avoided joining a global trend of aggressively raising interest rates and has stuck to its ultra-easy policy.

The BOJ was expected at its next policy meeting, on Dec. 19-20, to keep its short-term interest rate target at -0.1% and its pledge to guide 10-year government bond yields around 0%, the poll also showed.

Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Bradley Perrett

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.