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Japan records sharp fall in prices
  Hedgeweb - FRI, JUN 26 2009
News Japanese consumer prices fell a record 1.1 per cent in the year to May, with falling demand increasingly blamed as the country??s second bout of deflation in less than two years deepens.

It was the largest fall on record since 1970, but slightly less than a consensus forecast for a 1.2 per cent drop.

Lower energy costs were the main culprit for the decline, but a more worrying trend is that prices of durable goods are falling at a faster pace, signalling weak final demand.

The slide may make the Bank of Japan less willing to end unconventional policies due to expire in September. But the central bank will likely stop short of a return to full-blown quantitative easing as the world??s second largest economy is expected to resume growing after contracting for a full year, analysts say.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development made clear that ending the BoJ??s unconventional measures, such as buying commercial paper and corporate debt from banks, any time soon would be premature and recommended maintaining ??effective quantitative measures? until inflation returns.

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