TOKYO, Feb 24 (AFP): Japan's consumer prices rose 4.2 percent in January from a year earlier, a level not seen since September 1981, fuelled in part by higher energy bills, government data showed Friday.
The reading comes with traders awaiting an appearance in parliament by Bank of Japan chief nominee Kazuo Ueda later in the day.
The 4.2 percent rise, which excludes volatile fresh food, is well below the still sky-high levels that have sparked concern in the United States, Britain and elsewhere, but far exceeds the Bank of Japan's longstanding inflation goal of two percent.
The market had expected a 4.3 percent increase in January prices.
The latest data comes after a 4.0 percent jump in December that was the highest since December 1981.
The figures have added to the pressure on Japan's central bank to consider tightening its longstanding super-loose monetary policy.
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