The Bank of Japan’s main inflation gauge dropped for a second consecutive month as the effects of low oil prices continue to take a toll, keeping Governor Haruhiko Kuroda distant from his 2 percent inflation target.

Consumer prices excluding fresh food declined 0.1 percent in September from a year earlier, after falling in August for the first time since April 2013, according to the statistics bureau. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for prices to decline 0.2 percent. Stripping out food and energy, prices rose 0.9 percent.

Analysts are split on whether the BOJ will bolster stimulus later Friday as board members examine the outlook for inflation and economic growth. Even though Japan’s core consumer prices are falling, Kuroda has said the inflation trend is improving, helped by a tight labor market and high corporate profits.

Household spending fell 0.4 percent in September while the jobless rate stood at 3.4 percent, according to separate reports by the statistics bureau.

While 16 of 36 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg said they expect Kuroda and his board to bolster monetary policy.

Kuroda said Oct. 16 that the inflation trend is “surely improving” and cited a measure that excludes fresh food and energy, which rose 1.1 percent in August.

Source: Bloomberg