Fin24

Japan jobless rate stays at 4.5%

2012-04-27 12:11

Tokyo - Japan's unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.5% in March, the internal affairs ministry said Friday, in line with economists' expectations.

The ministry also said household spending rose an inflation-adjusted 3.4% from a year earlier in March, slower than an average 4.0% growth forecast by economists.

Japan's core consumer prices went up 0.2% on year, registering growth for the second consecutive month.

The market had expected the core index, which excludes volatile food items, would rise 0.1% after a 0.1% rise in February.

The increase stemmed mainly from higher electricity bills and gasoline prices, reflecting globally increased energy prices.

February's rise was the first in five months.

Japan has been in a deflationary spiral for years, with a series of monetary and fiscal policy moves failing to reverse the trend.

Core consumer prices for the Tokyo metropolitan area, a leading indicator of price trends for the rest of Japan, fell 0.5% in April from the same month a year ago.