Tokyo inflation slows in January

Tokyo's consumer prices rose in January but at a slower pace than in the previous month.

The preliminary figures for the capital's 23 wards are calculated as of mid-January and exclude volatile fresh foods.

Japan's internal affairs ministry says the year-on-year consumer price index is up 1.6 percent, half a point down from December's figure.

It is the first time in 20 months for the pace of inflation to slow below 2 percent. The main factors are government subsidies for households' utility bills and the cooling-off of a surge in accommodation prices.

Even so, shoppers in the capital continued to pay considerably more for non-fresh food, whose prices rose 5.7 percent from a year earlier.

The consumer price index for Tokyo is seen as a leading economic indicator. It comes ahead of figures for the entire economy. That index for January will be released on February 27.