TOKYO (Reuters) – A Reuters poll showed core consumer prices in Tokyo likely rose at the fastest pace in seven years in April, to near the Bank of Japan’s 2% target, in a sign of the broadening impact of global commodity inflation.
The Tokyo inflation figure, a leading indicator of nationwide price moves, will likely ensure the central bank remains under close scrutiny by market watchers for clues on how quickly it could modify its currently dovish policy guidance.
The Tokyo core consumer price index (CPI), which includes energy but excludes fresh food prices, was expected to increase 1.8% in April from a year earlier, according to the poll of 14 economists.
That would follow a 0.8% rise in March and mark the fastest gain since March 2015, when the index rose 2.2% year-on-year.
The increase will be driven largely by rising raw material costs and the fading impact of past cellphone fee cuts, analysts say.
The government will release April Tokyo CPI data on May. 6 at 8:30 a.m. (May. 5, 2330 GMT).
(Reporting By Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Leika Kihara and Kenneth Maxwell)