Japan's inflation, industrial output, household spending weaken in November, jobless rate flat

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TOKYO — Japan says its inflation rate eased slightly in November as household spending dropped, hindering the government's effort to get the world's third-largest economy out of recession and back to sustainable growth.

Government data released Friday showed core consumer prices, excluding food, rose 2.7 percent while the inflation rate excluding food and energy was 2.1 percent. The inflation rate was 2.9 percent in October.

Overall incomes fell 1.1 percent in November from a year earlier while household spending was down 2.5 percent. Unemployment was flat at 3.5 percent.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due to release soon a 3.5 trillion yen ($30 billion) proposed stimulus plan that reportedly will focus on providing more support to lower income families and to Japan's regions, where growth has stagnated. The economy slipped into recession after a sales tax hike in April sapped consumer demand.

Japan's central bank is buying up to 80 trillion yen ($660 billion) in assets each month, mostly government bonds, to help spur inflation but so far has not attained its target of 2 percent price increases overall.

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