Consumer inflation in Japan’s capital, Tokyo, continued to ease. Headline CPI climbed 2.9% y/y in August, coming in under 3% for the first time this year. Meantime, consumer prices ex. fresh food rose 2.8%, a slowdown from July's 3.0% pace. But, the so-called core-core metric (ex. fresh food & energy) remained stuck at 4.0%, suggesting persistent underlying inflation trends. Even so, BoJ Governor Ueda noted that inflation is still “a bit below” the 2% target, suggesting the Bank will likely stick to its current monetary policy stance.
Rice prices in Asia soared to the highest level in almost 15 years earlier this month after India banned some exports. And last week, PM Modi increased rice restrictions, putting further pressure on global supply, in a bid to shield domestic consumers from rising food costs ahead of next year’s election.