The cost of living in Tokyo increased at the same pace as last month, underscoring the nation’s weaker price momentum compared with global peers and offering some support for the Bank of Japan’s stimulus stance.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food climbed 1.9% in May from a year before as the impact of accelerating processed food prices was canceled out by smaller gains in energy costs, according to internal affairs ministry data released Friday. Economists had expected a gain of 2% for the leading indicator of the national trend.

The latest Tokyo figures offer another demonstration of how Japan’s price dynamics differ from the United States and Europe, where central banks are taking concrete action to bring inflation under control.