Japan's core consumer price index (CPI) rose 3.4 percent in May from a year earlier for the fastest expansion in 32 years, the government said Friday.
Core CPI, which excludes prices of volatile fresh foods, increased for the 12 straight month and posted the sharpest rise since April 1982, when it grew 3.5 percent on the year, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The gain was largely attributed to the sales tax, which lifted electricity and gas prices, the ministry said.
The government raised the sales tax from five to eight percent on April 1.
The ministry also said the rising prices of durable goods, including air conditioners and laptop computers, as well as higher gasoline prices also pushed up the core CPI.
Bank of Japan (BOJ) estimates the tax hike boosted overall inflation for May by 2.0 percent. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration has placed a priority on revitalizing the world's third-largest economy by beating prolonged deflation that has lasted for nearly 15 years.
In April 2013, the BOJ launched an aggressive monetary stimulus to achieve the two percent inflation target in fiscal 2015.