TOKYO (AP) -- The government says Japan's core consumer price index, which excludes fresh foods, dipped 0.1 percent in October from a year earlier. That's the first decline in four months. Data released Friday from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed that lower prices for furniture and recreational services contributed to the decline, even as energy prices rose. Including fresh foods, prices fell 0.2 percent, the ministry said. Core CPI for Tokyo in November -- considered an indicator of future trends for the entire country -- fell 0.5 percent.
In recent years, Japan has wrestled with deflation, or falling prices, which can drag on economic growth.