TOKYO?Japanese consumer prices fell again in October, but deflationary pressure showed some signs of softening?a positive development for beleaguered central bankers.

The core consumer price index slipped 0.4% from a year earlier in October, adjusted for fresh food and energy prices, according to data released Friday by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The reading marked the eighth consecutive monthly decline, but was smaller than the 0.5% drop in the previous month.

Economists polled by the Nikkei had expected the index to fall 0.4%.

Gasoline and kerosene prices fell at slower rates, giving the index some support, according to the ministry.

Still, the continued decline in overall pricessuggests the Bank of Japan remains far from its goal of generating 2% inflation in the face of weak demand and persistent doubts over prospects for rising prices.

The so-called "core-core" index, which excludes both food and energy prices, rose 0.2% in October after being flat in the previous month. The data overall suggest the Bank of Japan remains far from its goal of generating 2% inflation in the face of weak demand and persistent doubts over prospects for rising prices.

Many economists continue to see the BOJ's price views as too optimistic, despite some recent good news, such as the reversal in the yen's strength following Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election.

In its Nov. 1 quarterly outlook, the central bank forecast that the core inflation rate will reach 2% by around fiscal 2018, which ends March 2019.

The core index for the Tokyo metropolitan area for November fell 0.4% from a year earlier, according tothe ministry. Economists see Tokyo figures as a leading indicator of nationwide price trends.

In October, the Tokyo index slid 0.4%.

Write to Takashi Nakamichi at takashi.nakamichi@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 24, 2016 20:45 ET (01:45 GMT)

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