Price growth in Tokyo decelerated sharply to a pace below 2% in April, in an outcome largely distorted by the start of education subsidies, as the Bank of Japan gathers to decide policy.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 1.6% in Tokyo, slowing from 2.4% in March, the internal affairs ministry reported Friday. A deeper measure of the inflation trend that strips out fresh food and energy prices slowed to 1.8%, compared with the consensus estimate of 2.7%.

While the Tokyo consumer price index (CPI) data is usually considered a leading indicator for national trends, the April figures were distorted by the start of the education subsidies. That impact won’t be mirrored across the country in nationwide data for April, due to be released on May 24.