Japanese inflation reaches five-year high

Inflation in the Japanese economy increased its fastest rate seen in over five years at the end of 2013.

The latest consumer price figures from the Japanese National Statistics Bureau show inflation increased at a rate of 1.3 per cent in December compared to a year earlier.

This latest rise in inflation sees the country push closer to the Japanese government’s 2 per cent target for inflation, while the figure also beat market expectations.

Earlier this month the Bank of Japan voted to maintain current levels of quantitative easing based on expectations that inflation would continue to rise.

RBS Securities chief economist Junko Nishioka told Reuters: “The core consumer price index was stronger than expected, and durable goods prices seem to be rebounding. Consumer prices will likely continue moderate growth.

“I think the BOJ is unlikely to adopt additional easing because there is no reason to justify it given the positive macro-economic environment.”

Elsewhere statistics also released today reveal that unemployment in Japan also came down in December, falling to its lowest level seen in six years at 3.7 per cent.