May 25, 10:47 PM EDT

Japan inflation edges up in April as oil prices rebound

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TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's core consumer price index climbed to a two-year high in April of 0.3 percent, as costs for energy rose.

Economists said the increase reported Friday was not likely to persist and that prices for imported consumer goods actually fell. Inflation has been positive in recent months but well below the government's 2 percent target.

Core inflation excluding volatile food prices rose 0.3 percent from a year earlier in April, just above the rate in March. Inflation excluding both fresh foods and energy was up 0.1 percent, while energy costs rose by 4.5 percent.

The government said the cost of gasoline surged 15 percent and the cost of kerosene jumped 28 percent, as U.S. benchmark crude oil rose from about $40 a barrel a year ago to about $49 today.

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