Japan's inflation rate was 0.3 percent in November, as higher food prices helped offset savings from lower gas and electricity costs.

Figures released Friday showed that core inflation excluding food prices was 0.1 percent, while household spending in November fell 2.9 percent from a year earlier. Excluding food and energy, the consumer price index rose 0.9 percent.

Incomes fell 1.4 percent from the year before, suggesting companies are not heeding appeals to raise wages to help spur demand and ensure a sustainable recovery for the world's third-largest economy after years of sluggish growth.

Japan's jobless rate edged higher in November, to 3.3 percent from 3.1 percent in October. But companies have tended to add overtime or hire temporary help instead of raising wages to attract new staff.