The consumer price index, a closely watched indicator in connection with the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy, rose 0.5 percent in April from a year earlier for the sixth straight monthly increase, the government said Friday, supporting the view that the economy is moving out of deflation.

Stable growth in consumer prices is seen as a sign that the central bank may raise key short-term interest rates in the near future.

The core nationwide CPI, excluding perishables, came to 98.2 in April against the base of 100 for 2000, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said in a preliminary report.

The core CPI posted a 0.5 percent increase for the fourth straight month from January. The margin of growth is believed to be wide enough for the year-on-year change in the index to stay in the plus column even after expected downward revisions following the scheduled change of the base year in August.

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