Japanese companies expect consumer prices to have risen an average 1.5% in a year's time, compared with the Bank of Japan's inflation target of 2%, according to survey results released by the central bank Thursday.
They also forecast inflation at 1.6% and 1.7% in three years and five years from now, respectively, excluding the direct effects of the consumption tax hikes implemented in April and scheduled for October 2015.
The results in September were unchanged from June, Japan's News Agency (Kyodo) reported.
The BOJ expects to achieve its price goal by sometime next year while carrying out aggressive monetary easing to revive the economy.
The companies, of all sizes and industries, were polled in the BOJ's Tankan business sentiment survey conducted last month. Results released Wednesday showed that businesses have been slow to recover from the negative shocks of the April 1 tax rise, which reduced private consumption and industrial output.
The government said last week the country's core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, advanced 1.1% in August from a year earlier excluding the effects of the tax increase. The result was almost in line with the BOJ's estimate.
BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has said that the central bank aims to affect private-sector inflation expectations through its monetary policy and that future policy will be sufficiently accommodative until a 2% rise is stably maintained.