Japan’s inflation likely accelerated another notch beyond the central bank’s target level in July to further complicate Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda’s message that rock-bottom rates must stay in place to support stable price growth.

Economists estimate that consumer prices excluding fresh food, the central bank’s key inflation gauge, hit 2.4% in July. That compares with 2.2% in the previous month, already the fastest pace since 2008 excluding tax-hike years.

The latest expected gain is unlikely to budge Kuroda from his insistence on stimulus for now. But a continued acceleration of price growth over the coming months will make his stance increasingly difficult to defend as his term as governor approaches its end next spring.