Japan sees gains in prices, industrial output

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

TOKYO (AP) — Data for October show Japan's economy is gaining momentum, with consumer prices excluding food and energy rising 0.3 percent from a year earlier, the biggest gain since 1998.

The slew of indicators released Friday suggests that the ultra-loose monetary policy and stimulus strategy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is helping end a long bout of deflation. Industrial output rose 0.5 percent in October, the second straight month of increase.

The government reported that excluding just food costs, the core consumer price index rose 0.9 percent from the year before. Including both food and energy, prices rose 1.1 percent.

Japan's jobless rate remained flat in October.

To sustain the recovery that began late last year, economists say companies must invest more and raise wages. Progress toward those goals appears limited.