Japan inflation stays at seven-year high in May
An AEON retail store in Okinawa, Japan. /CFP

An AEON retail store in Okinawa, Japan. /CFP

Japan's core consumer prices jumped 2.1 percent again in May, the second consecutive monthly jump of a level not seen in seven years, official data showed Friday.

The core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food, jumped 2.1 percent year on year in May, according to figures released by the internal affairs ministry.

The rise follows a 2.1 percent jump in April, the first time since March 2015 that the figure breached the 2.0 percent set by the Bank of Japan (BoJ) as its long-term inflation target.

The reading, in line with market expectations, comes after the Japanese central bank last week stuck to its monetary easing policy even as other central banks raise interest rates to tame inflation.

The BoJ did, however, said it would "pay due attention" to forex markets after the yen hit a 24-year low.

Excluding energy, prices were up 0.8 percent in May, also in line with market consensus, following a 0.8 percent rise in April.

The BoJ's ultra-loose monetary policy aims to achieve two-percent inflation, a target that has been stubbornly out of reach during years of price stagnation.

But the bank has cautioned that it sees recent rising prices as a temporary and volatile trend and that it needs to stick with easing to achieve more long-lasting rises.

(With input from AFP)

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