Japan's consumer price index, excluding fresh food and seasonal adjustments, rose 0.7% in February on an annual basis, down from a 0.8% rise in the previous month, data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed.
The Econoday consensus estimated core annual inflation to reach 0.8% in February.
Consumer prices excluding fresh food edged 0.1% higher in seasonally adjusted monthly terms in February, down from a 0.2% growth a month ago. Food prices declined 0.5% month over month, while fuel, light and water charges grew by 0.5%, and culture and recreation prices rose 0.7%.
Excluding fresh food and energy, consumer prices rose 0.4% annually in Japan during February and were up 0.1% on a monthly basis. Total inflation reached 0.2% on an annual basis and was flat on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis.
The Bank of Japan currently expects inflation in the range of 0.8% to 0.9% for fiscal 2018, below its target of 2%.