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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.

Japan output hits surprise record
29 Nov 06 |  Business
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27 Nov 06 |  Business
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16 Nov 06 |  Business
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14 Nov 06 |  Business
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10 Nov 06 |  Business

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