Fuel prices push Tokyo inflation to fastest pace in 16 months

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) – Higher fuel prices drove up Tokyo’s cost of living at the fastest pace in 16 months, although the increases were still tiny compared to those confronting consumers in other economies where central banks are pulling back pandemic-era stimulus.

Prices in the capital, excluding those for fresh food, increased 0.3 per cent this month from a year earlier, the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported on Friday (Nov 26). The result matched the median estimate from economists.

Japanese inflation, long a global laggard, is slowly but steadily picking up after climbing above zero at the end of summer amid spiking global commodity prices that have boosted costs for local businesses to a 40-year high.

The latest inflation data comes after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday announced the release of national oil reserves in concert with the United States and other nations to cool surging crude prices. Japan’s petrol prices at the pump have risen to a seven-year high.

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