Food, energy push Japan prices higher in August

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Associated Press

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 12:02 AM

TOKYO (AP) — Japan says its consumer price index rose 0.8 percent in August from a year earlier in its fastest increase in five years. Prices excluding food and energy were slightly lower.

August's rise in the CPI, the main inflation benchmark, compares with a 0.7 percent increase in July.

The government said Friday that excluding food and energy costs, which have been pushed higher by the weaker yen's impact on imports, the CPI fell 0.1 percent from a year earlier. Including all data, it rose 0.9 percent.

The inflation data still show slow progress toward a target of 2 percent inflation by early 2015, set by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as part of his strategy for reviving growth. Economists say wage increases are needed to drive demand and push prices higher.

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