BOJ and CPI
Meanwhile, here on the home front, the Consumer Price Index surprised to the upside. Overall prices rose 0.2% in January vs. the 0.1% expectation. "Core" CPI (excluding food and energy) jumped 0.3%, above the 0.2% forecast. The year-over-year rate of core CPI inflation rose to 2.7% from 2.6%, leaving it well above the Federal Reserve's 1% - 2% comfort zone.
Some highlights: Services inflation has gained 0.3% the past three months in a row. Food and beverage inflation jumped to 0.7% from -0.1% a month earlier. Lower gas and vehicle prices reduced transportation inflation, and education and communication prices dipped. But a big spike in tobacco prices (+3.1%) and medical care (+0.8%) helped drive overall inflation higher.