[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 1 December 2006, 07:33 GMT
Japan's economy looking healthy
Japanese shoppers
Japanese shoppers are finally seeing prices rise
Japanese consumer prices rose for the fifth consecutive month in October as unemployment fell, signs that its economy continues to strengthen.

But core consumer prices - excluding volatile fresh food prices - rose less than expected at 0.1% year on year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs said.

Japan's economy seems to be recovering after years of deflation, which saw prices tumble.

Some analysts predict that Japan could raise interest rates before year-end.

The Bank of Japan will be meeting in December, which could see the interest rates raised from the current 0.25%, set in July.

The rate had been zero for six years before that as the bank struggled to counter the effects of deflation.

Now, though, economic data looks healthy, with unemployment now at 4.1% and industrial output reaching a record level in October as it rose 1.6% from the previous month.

Still, there are fears that if Japan raises interest rates too soon it could hamper economic growth.

SEE ALSO
Japan output hits surprise record
29 Nov 06 |  Business
Bank of Japan is patient on rates
27 Nov 06 |  Business
Japan interest rates kept on hold
16 Nov 06 |  Business
Japanese growth beats forecasts
14 Nov 06 |  Business
Japan economy concerns hit shares
10 Nov 06 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific