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