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Japan consumer inflation accelerates to 41-year high of 4%

December figure exceeds BOJ's price stability target for ninth straight month

Shoppers browse a Tokyo supermarket on Jan. 10. Japanese food producers plan to raise prices on thousands of products in the coming months.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's core inflation rate hit a 41-year high in December as consumer-facing businesses passed on higher import costs of food and fuel, official data released on Friday shows.

The core consumer price index -- which excludes fresh foods -- increased 4% from a year earlier, up from 3.7% in November, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Last month's figure marked the sharpest rise since December 1981.

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