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Japan consumer prices fall for 9th straight month

Staff Writer |
Japanese consumer prices fell for a ninth consecutive month in November, reflecting the still-fragile state of the economy.

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The core consumer price index fell 0.4% from a year earlier in November, after slipping at the same rate in the previous month, according to data released Tuesday by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The index excludes fresh food prices.

The reading compared with a 0.4% fall forecast by economists polled by the Nikkei. The core index has been in negative territory since March.

Household spending fell 1.5% on year in November, adjusted for price changes, according to other data released Tuesday by the Internal Affairs Ministry. It marked the ninth consecutive monthly decline. Consumption accounts for 60% of Japan's economy.

The unemployment rate rose to 3.1% in November in November from the previous month's 3.0%, according to the ministry.