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BoJ sees zero inflation in Abenomics setback

Tokyo's plan was to defeat years of crippling deflation that was blamed for holding back growthThe Bank of Japan on Tuesday said tumbling energy prices could push inflation to zero, marking another setback for Tokyo’s attempts to kickstart the economy by conquering years of falling or stagnant prices. While the central bank repeated its view that inflation expectations were “rising on the whole” — and it held fire on launching fresh stimulus — the commentary strikes another blow to efforts to reach a sustained two percent inflation level. Tokyo’s campaign to stimulate spending faltered after the government raised the country’s sales tax last year to help pay down Japan’s enormous national debt. “The year-on-year rate of increase in the consumer price index…. excluding the direct effects of the consumption tax hike, is in the range of 0.0-0.5 percent,” the BoJ said in a statement after a two-day policy meeting.

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