Japan has no plan to declare end of deflation soon: minister

The government has no plan to formally declare the end of deflation in the near future although recent economic data have shown that prices are rising in Japan, economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari said Friday.

"It is too early to declare the end of deflation," Amari said at a press conference, indicating the possibility cannot be completely ruled out that prices will fall again.

"There are still several factors we need to watch, such as the impact of the consumption tax hike," Amari said of the 3-percentage-point tax increase to 8 percent from April 1.

Amari's remarks came after gross domestic product data released Wednesday showed Japan's GDP deflator, a wider price gauge than the consumer price index, rose 2.0 percent from a year earlier in the April-June period, up for the first time in 19 quarters.

The data, meanwhile, showed the nation's economy shrank an annualized real 6.8 percent during the three months through June, plunging at its quickest pace since the 2011 quake-tsunami disaster, partially due to a pullback in spending following the tax hike.