Japans consumer price gains slowed for a third straight month, challenging Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kurodas effort to stoke faster inflation.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food increased 2.9 percent in October from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo, matching the median projection in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Stripped of the effect of Aprils sales-tax increase, core inflation — the BOJs key measure — was 0.9 percent.

Tumbling oil prices are complicating the task of stoking inflation in an economy that slid into recession last quarter. The inflation number is the last key data point on consumer price changes before an election next month, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeking a renewed mandate for his economic growth strategy.

Kuroda said there was no limit to steps the BOJ could take to reach its 2 percent inflation goal after he led a divided board last month to increase stimulus.
The yen fell 0.2 percent against the dollar to 117.93 as of 8:34 a.m. in Tokyo.

Source: Bloomberg