Japan consumer prices fall 0.6 percent in October

TOKYO (AP) — Consumer prices in Japan fell 0.6 percent during the month of October, the government said Friday, marking the 20th straight month of declines as the country struggles to keep its economic recovery alive.

Japan’s key consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, was down from the same month a year ago.

While lower prices may boost individual purchasing power, deflation is generally bad for the overall economy. Japan is struggling to avoid another “Lost Decade,” the period during the 1990s when falling prices pulled down company profits and led to wage cuts.

The preliminary core CPI for the Tokyo area — considered an indicator of broader price trends for the country, fell 0.5 percent for November, heralding a further nationwide drop this month.

In September, consumer prices in Japan fell 1.1 percent from a year earlier.

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