TOKYO, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Japan's underlying inflation rate remained at 0.6 percent in July, the government said in a report on Friday, still well short of the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) 2-percent inflation target.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the consumer price index, excluding fresh food because of its volatility, stood at 101.5 against the 2015 base of 100, with core CPI rising for the 31st straight month.
The ministry said the rise was attributable to higher distribution costs and rising prices for materials, which lifted the price of food.
Non-perishable foods prices increased 1.2 percent as ice cream climbed 6.9 percent in price on higher raw material and transportation costs, the ministry said.
Energy costs rose 0.6 percent in July. Electricity prices increased 2.7 percent, gas prices were up 2.7. percent and oil product prices fell 2.7 percent, as prices for gasoline slumped 4.4 percent, in the recording period, the ministry said.
"There is no change in our view that consumer prices are on a moderate upward trend," a ministry official was quoted as telling a press briefing on Friday.
The official said that the government would pay close attention to the effects of crude oil prices on the index.
Looking ahead, gas and electricity bills were expected to fall due to lower crude oil prices, the ministry said.