Weak Japan inflation, output data to cast cloud over BOJ meeting

Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:32am EDT
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's core inflation probably slipped for a second month in September, while factory output fell for a third month in a row, a Reuters poll showed, adding to headaches facing Bank of Japan policymakers as they head into a key policy meeting on Friday.

Private spending data also due next week is expected to show modest improvement, helped by holiday spending, but the rate of recovery likely remained moderate due to slow growth in wages.

The economic data next week will be among the last clues for investors and the BOJ on how the economy performed in July-September after it contracted in the second quarter.

Some economists believe activity shrank further over the summer, sending the economy back into recession and adding pressure on policymakers to offer fresh stimulus.

The core consumer price index (CPI), which includes oil products but excludes volatile fresh food prices, is expected to have slipped 0.2 percent in September from year earlier, a poll of 22 analysts showed.

That would mark a second straight monthly fall after a 0.1 percent dip in August.

Industrial production likely declined 0.5 percent in September from the previous month, which would be a third straight monthly fall following a revised 1.2 percent drop in August and a 0.8 percent fall in July.

"Japan's exports are weak not only to Asian nations but globally. Along with that, factory output also deteriorated," said Taro Saito, director for economic research at NLI Research Institute.

"That said, the economy overall is not going to tumble at the moment as jobs-related data remain solid and consumer spending is also moving sideways, although it lacks strength."   Continued...

A woman buys eggs at a wholesale shop in Kawasaki, nearby Tokyo, January 11, 2011.   REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon