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Japan November inflation rises in line with expectations

Japan's annual inflation rose in line with expectations in November, data from the country's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed.

Headline inflation reached 0.5% in November, up from 0.2% a month ago and matching the consensus estimate of economists surveyed by Econoday. Japan's version of core inflation, which excludes prices of fresh food, ticked up to 0.5% in November from last month's 0.4%.

Fresh food prices remained unchanged from the same month a year ago, while energy prices declined 2.1%. Excluding these two components, annual inflation rose 0.8% in November, compared with a 0.7% increase a month ago.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, consumer prices rose 0.2% from October, when prices were unchanged from the previous month. Excluding fresh food, monthly inflation came in at 0.2%.

Inflation data came a day after the Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged at its final meeting of the year. The central bank reiterated that it expects interest rates to "remain at their present or lower levels as long as it is necessary" in order to keep inflation from veering away from its 2% target.