Inflation returns to Japan for the first time in more than a year

Prices tick up helped by the rising cost of oil but a slump in household spending clouds the outlook

Japan’s core consumer prices have risen for the first time in over a year thanks to a pickup in energy costs, marking a rare victory in the government’s long battle against deflation.

But a slump in household spending showed by 1.2% compared with January last year showed why economic growth and inflation have lagged the more ambitious goals set out by policymakers.

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