In spite of persistent headwinds, Japan is still managing to eke out a small victory, this time in the form of annualized consumer prices. The headline CPI figure for the month of November rose to 0.50% from 0.10% in October, driven primarily by rising food prices. However, other figures which strip away the more volatile food component show that core inflation remains firmly in negative territory at -0.40%, marking 9-straight months of falling prices. This is another headache for policymakers at the Central Bank despite forecasts that inflation will rebound to 1.00% by the middle of 2017.
Adding to the more downbeat news overnight was household spending which slipped -0.60% month over month and the unemployment rate which surprisingly rose to 3.10% from 3.00% during October. After weakening four of the last five sessions, USDJPY is back on the climb after bouncing off support at 117.00.