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To better reflect today’s cost of living, the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry is adding 71 new items to the basket of goods it tracks in its monthly index on consumer prices.

The changes will be reflected in the index figures to be released Aug. 31.

By including personal computers and other items subject to large discounts, the changes are expected to reflect intensifying deflation, placing additional pressure for further easing on the Bank of Japan, economists said.

The central bank is entrusted with guarding price stability.

Tokyo’s consumer prices fell 0.9 percent in July from the previous month, marking the 22nd consecutive month of decline. The ministry projects the changes, which are made every five years, will push the index down an additional 0.2 percent.

The items to be added include personal computers, cellphone bills, child care services, overseas travel packages and hair-coloring costs.

The ministry’s Statistics Bureau and Statistics Center will delete 55 items from the list, crossing out little-bought goods such as pencil sharpeners, canned salmon and men’s running shirts.

The new index will trace the prices of 596 items in 167 towns and cities nationwide.

Vocal critics of the central bank say the index should take into account special short-term sales and discounts to better reflect the reality of falling prices.

“If the BOJ would get its head out of academic arguments, it would know that prices are falling, some say by 2 percent,” said Yoichi Masuzoe, an Upper House Liberal Democratic Party member. Masuzoe is spearheading a movement to submit a bill legally obliging the central bank to commit to a numerical target for price levels.

BOJ Gov. Masaru Hayami has argued that along with falling demand, structural changes in production and distribution are also pulling down prices. Falling prices on individual items often reflect domestic and foreign price discrepancies, he has said.

Unfortunately for the BOJ, however, there is no way to prove numerically whether declining demand or anticipated structural reform is having the greater effect on falling prices.

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