31 January 2003, 14:10  Japanese CPI falls while jobless rise

Japan's unemployment rate rose to a seasonally-adjusted 5.5pc in December from 5.3pc in November, matching the record high level posted in October. In a report on the labour market, the government said the rise in December was due to continued restructuring by corporates. Private-sector economists earlier forecast that December unemployment would come in at a consensus 5.4pc, within a range of 5.3-5.6pc. Meanwhile Japan's inflation rate fell 0.9pc in 2002, the third straight year of a decline and the largest-ever drop, after a 0.7pc decline in 2001 due to continued deflationary pressure. The nationwide core CPI, which excludes fresh food prices, declined by 0.9pc in 2002, also the third consecutive year of a fall and the largest-ever decline, following a 0.8pc decline in 2001. ///www.fxcentre.com

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