As expected by economists, Japan's inflation rate is back in negative territory. From AFP/CNA:
Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile prices of fresh food, fell by 0.1 percent in February from a year earlier, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.
Overall consumer prices declined by 0.2 percent in February from a year earlier.
Both were down for the first time since April last year...
The core consumer price index (CPI) for Tokyo alone - the leading indicator for national price trends - pointed to a continued easing of consumer prices, dropping by 0.1 percent in March from a year earlier.
Other data released today:
Meanwhile, Japan's industrial output fell 0.2 percent in February from the previous month, beating market expectations for a 0.6 percent decline, the government reported.
On a brighter note, average monthly household spending rose 1.3 percent in February from a year earlier, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.0 percent.
And from Reuters:
The NTC Research/Nomura/JMMA Purchasing Managers Index, which gives an early snapshot of the health of manufacturing, fell to a seasonally adjusted 52.5 from 53.0 in February, making it the lowest reading since February 2005 when it was at 52.1...
The PMI's new orders index, a barometer of future demand that combines goods orders placed with Japanese manufacturers from both home and overseas, slipped to 51.2 from 52.6 in February.
It marked the weakest growth since January 2005 when the index was at 50.6.