No inflation joy for Japan

Prices are stagnant as the country faces recession...

No inflation joy for Japan

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Picture by: Luis Hidalgo / AP/Press Association Images

Japan's price growth remained stagnant for the year to February, according to new government data announced today.

Low energy costs and poor consumption were behind prices remaining lat, with annual inflation up just 0.3%.

The Bank of Japan had set an official target of 2% for the end of the year.

It means Japan is facing its sixth recession in seven years, after the economy shrunk by 0.4% in the final quarter of 2015.

Shinichiro Kobayashi, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting in Tokyo, said:

"Inflation hasn’t hit bottom yet — it’s going down further. It’s gradually becoming clearer that [Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda] won’t attain the price target as he projects".

In January, Japan's central bank added a negative interest rate to its much-discussed asset purchases, to no avail as yet.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called on businesses to increase wages in a bid to raise inflation.