Japan consumer inflation eases in May, keeps pressure on BOJ

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Japan's PM Abe gestures during a news conference at his official residence in TokyoBy Leika Kihara and Stanley White TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's core consumer inflation eased slightly in May when excluding the effect of a sales tax hike, and is seen slowing in coming months as the boost from a weak yen fade, keeping the central bank under pressure to maintain its massive stimulus. Separate data showed household spending continued to pullback in May, after having been hit by an increase in the domestic sales tax on April 1, boding ill for the world's third-largest economy. The jobless rate fell to its lowest in more than a decade, while a measure of labour demand hit the highest in two decades, but it may take time for the strong labour market to lift consumer spending after the tax hike. The nationwide core consumer price index (CPI), which includes oil products but exclude volatile fresh food costs, rose 3.4 percent in the year to May, data showed on Friday, matching the median market forecast.

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