Tokyo consumer prices slide as lower cellphone fees weigh on inflation

Tokyo consumer prices fell unexpectedly in April due to cuts in mobile phone fees by major carriers, government data showed on Friday, making the central bank’s 2% inflation target appear even more elusive. Major carriers have come under intense pressure from Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who has called for mobile phone fees to drop by as much as 40%, arguing that Japan’s cellphone fees, among the world’s most expensive, were straining households. While lower cellphone fees may help boost household income and stimulate consumption, they are also exerting downward pressure on prices, rekindling worries about a … (full story)

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