Japan reports inflation hit 4%, 41-year high in December

Jan 19, 2023, 11:15 AM | Updated: Jan 20, 2023, 1:16 am
FILE - People with shopping bags walk across a traffic intersection towards a train station near a ...

FILE - People with shopping bags walk across a traffic intersection towards a train station near a shopping street in the Ueno district in Tokyo, Friday, Dec. 30, 2022. Japan's consumer inflation rate hit a 41-year high of 4% in December, as prices for everything from burgers to gas surged. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)

(AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s consumer inflation rate hit a 41-year high of 4% in December, as prices for everything from burgers to gas surged.

That rate is still relatively low, compared to some other nations, including the U.S. Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has been fending off deflation, or chronically falling prices, for decades.

The last time core consumer prices rose that much was December 1981, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.

The Federal Reserve and many other central banks have raised interest rates to tame inflation but the Bank of Japan has kept its benchmark rate at a longstanding low level of minus 0.1%.

A sharp weakening of the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar and other currencies has added to pressures on the BOJ and speculation has been building that it might soon shift course and start raising interest rates.

Japan’s core consumer price index, excluding fresh food, rose 2.3% in 2022 from the year before, the highest in 31 years, the ministry said.

The BOJ’s target inflation rate is about 2%. While prices have risen more than usual and some companies, such as Fast Retailing, which operates the Uniqlo clothing chain, have announced wage increases, incomes in Japan have generally stagnated. Central bank officials say they expect inflation to abate as other economies slow and possibly enter recessions.

Prices of various products, including snack bars, instant noodles and soy sauce, have climbed lately, with more price hikes expected.

But Junichi Makino, an analyst at SMBC Nikko, expects inflationary pressures to ease in the months ahead. Prices for oil and many commodities have declined from sharp spikes last year, and rising costs for imports have “peaked,” he said.

“It’s a matter of time before prices will head downward, as much is due to the cheap yen and the high costs of oil, coal and natural gas,” he said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A man walks on sea wall near Spring Point Ledge Light, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, in South Portland, M...
Associated Press

Dangerously cold temperatures envelop Northeast

BOSTON (AP) — Arctic air descended into the Northeast on Saturday morning, bringing dangerously cold sub-zero temperatures and wind chills that dropped to minus 45 to minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 43 to minus 45 C) in many areas. Atop Mount Washington in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the overnight windchill was measured at minus 108 […]
1 day ago
A man works at an avocado orchard in Santa Ana Zirosto, Michoacan state, Mexico, Thursday, Jan. 26,...
Associated Press

Route to Super Bowl is long, dangerous for Mexican avocados

SANTA ANA ZIROSTO, Mexico (AP) — It is a long and sometimes dangerous journey for avocados destined for guacamole on tables and tailgates in the United States during the Super Bowl. It starts in villages like Santa Ana Zirosto, high in the misty, pine-clad mountains of the western Mexico state of Michoacan. The roads are […]
1 day ago
FILE - People visit Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on...
Associated Press

Disney World unions vote down offer covering 45,000 workers

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Union members voted down a contract proposal covering tens of thousands of Walt Disney World service workers, saying it didn’t go far enough toward helping employees face cost-of-living hikes in housing and other expenses in central Florida. The unions said that 13,650 out of 14,263 members who voted on the contract […]
1 day ago
Community organizer Chase Madkins poses for a portrait in a Black-owned coffee shop in Memphis, Ten...
Associated Press

In Tyre Nichols’ neighborhood, Black residents fear police

MEMPHIS (AP) — In a terrible way, the death of Tyre Nichols brings vindication to members of the Black community in Memphis who live in terror of police. Often, before, people didn’t believe them when told how bad it is. The fatal beating of Nichols, 29, by five police officers tells the story many residents […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Teenage girl killed by shark while jet skiing in Australia

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A teenage girl was killed in a suspected shark attack in the Western Australian city of Perth after she jumped from her jet ski, police said Saturday. The 16-year-old was pulled from the Swan River with critical injuries. Emergency personnel provided medical assistance to her at the scene but she died, […]
1 day ago
Jessica Day-Weaver holds a ceramic hand print of her daughter, Anastasia, at her home, Thursday, Fe...
Associated Press

‘Died suddenly’ posts twist tragedies to push vaccine lies

Results from 6-year-old Anastasia Weaver’s autopsy may take weeks. But online anti-vaccine activists needed only hours after her funeral this week to baselessly blame the COVID-19 vaccine. A prolific Twitter account posted Anastasia’s name and smiling dance portrait in a tweet with a syringe emoji. A Facebook user messaged her mother, Jessica Day-Weaver, to call […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Japan reports inflation hit 4%, 41-year high in December