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Japan's July consumer prices see biggest fall in 3 years

Staff Writer |
Japan's core consumer prices declined for a fifth straight month in July, the biggest fall in three years, according to government figures.

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The 0.5 percent drop in July was attributable to a slump in prices for crude oil. The decline marked the biggest annual decline since March 2013, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.

The latest figures came on the heels of a revised 0.4 percent drop a month earlier and median market analysts believe the Bank of Japan (BOJ) will now have little choice but to expand its already hefty easing program following its policy board meeting towards the end of next month.

The ministry's data showed that the core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, stood at 99.6 against the 2015 base of 100.