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Japan out of deflation, Kuroda says

Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda held a news conference after a policy board meeting wrapped up Wednesday.

TOKYO -- Japan has exited deflation and the overall inflation trend has risen steadily, Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Wednesday, possibly trying to tamp down speculation about more easing spurred by a slowdown in emerging markets.

     At a news conference Wednesday following a policy board meeting, Kuroda emphasized price hikes, arguing that daily and weekly price indexes show a significant change from last year. Growth in the UTokyo Daily Price Index, which tracks changes in supermarket prices using data from Nikkei Inc., is hovering near 1.5%. Companies are passing higher labor and other costs on to customers, who are accepting the resulting price increases. That was not the case a year ago, when the BOJ implemented more easing.

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