TOKYO Ė Japanís consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.8 percent year-on-year in July thanks to higher energy prices, marking the 19th consecutive month of positive results, the Japanese government said on Friday.
The index, which excludes food prices due to their high volatility, remained flat compared to the 0.8-percent increase in June. The result is still far from the 2-percent target set by the Bank of Japan (BoJ).
The 3.1-percent year-on-year rise in fuel, water and electricity prices was the main contributing factor to the CPI rise in July, followed by medical care prices (2 percent) and transport and communication prices (1.5 percent).
The most notable drop in July was registered in the household furniture and utensil prices, which fell 1.1 percent year-on-year, and housing prices, 0.1 percent.
The BoJ launched a broad monetary easing program in 2013 to achieve the 2 percent inflation target; however, this objective has been delayed by the fall in oil prices since late 2014, despite the upturn in recent months.
At a monthly meeting in July, the Japanese central bank announced its first major policy adjustments since 2016 in order to achieve this inflation target, which include greater flexibility in its purchases of government bonds and diversification of its investments in exchange-traded funds.