BOJ Shirakawa: Japan consumer prices to gradually rise

Thu Mar 1, 2012 9:39pm EST
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said on Friday he expects consumer prices to gradually rise in the coming years as the economy recovers with support from a pickup in global demand.

"We will continue with monetary easing until consumer inflation of 1 percent is in sight," Shirakawa told a parliamentary committee, adding that price rises driven by temporary factors such as a spike in crude oil costs alone will not trigger a reversal of the current stance on an easy monetary policy.

He also stressed that while monetary policy eventually determines the long-term trend for prices, boosting central bank fund supply alone would not immediately push up prices.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Michael Watson)