Japanese consumer prices make rare rise

Japan's consumer prices rose in June for the first time in 14 months, as Tokyo looks to tackle years of deflation that have crippled growth in the world's third-largest economy.

Japan's consumer prices rose in June for the first time in 14 months, as Tokyo looks to tackle years of deflation that have crippled growth in the world's third-largest economy.

Excluding volatile prices of fresh food, prices rose 0.4 per cent last month, the first increase since April last year.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to pull Japan out of 15 years of falling prices with active government spending, which he argues will boost the economy and lead to higher pay for workers.

The Bank of Japan, meanwhile, unleashed a huge monetary easing program in April and set a 2 per cent inflation target to turn around the economy.

Japan's economy expanded at an annualised rate of 4.1 per cent in the first quarter, and some Japanese firms have announced price increases as the yen weakened since late last year.

Much of the price increase can be attributed to surging energy costs in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

The country turned to expensive fossil fuel imports after shutting its nuclear reactors. A weaker currency has pushed up the costs of those imports.

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