Japan's central bank plans experts' workshop to scrutinise inflation
By Leika Kihara
TOKYO (Reuters) -The Bank of Japan said on Friday it would scrutinise factors behind the country's low inflation and the divergence of price trends from other parts of the world in a series of workshops that kicks off next month.
The move underscores the challenge the BOJ faces in dealing with stubbornly low inflation that is forcing it to maintain massive stimulus, even as other major central banks eye raising interest rates to cope with rising inflation.
The workshops will gather academics and monetary policy experts, as well as BOJ staff, for discussions on Japan's price trends on March 29 and May 30, the BOJ said in a statement.
"The global inflation landscape is experiencing big changes, with U.S. and European consumer inflation accelerating sharply," the central bank said.
However, Japan's wholesale inflation had hit a 40-year high while consumer inflation remained below a target of 2%, it added.
"There's a renewed need to deepen analyses on Japan's recent price moves, including the divergence in domestic and overseas inflation made clear by the COVID-19 pandemic, and factors behind them."
The BOJ's two deputy governors, Masayoshi Amamiya and Masazumi Wakatabe, will deliver remarks at the March 29 workshop. The central bank said it will post a summary of the discussions on its website.
While soaring raw material costs have pushed up wholesale prices in Japan, core consumer inflation stood at 0.2% in January as weak household spending and wage growth keep firms from passing on the higher costs to consumers.
(Reporting by Leika Kihara;Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Clarence Fernandez)
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