The perpetual thorn in policymakers' side during the post-crisis era has been inflation or, more appropriately, a lack thereof. No matter what central banks have tried, the deflationary impulse has proven to be remarkably stubborn and paradoxically, QE might well have contributed by preventing creative destruction from purging excess capacity. Japan's struggle has been particularly amusing to behold. The central bank has even resorted to creating new measures of inflation in a desperate attempt to put a positive spin on harsh economic realities. Just a little over a week ago, BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the following about the abysmal situation: "...it’s necessary to achieve 2% inflation in this round of monetary easing to ensure Japan never falls back into deflation." Then, four days later, we got this headline from Bloomberg: KURODA: BOJ CAN’T SAY NO RISK OF RETURNING TO DEFLATION Still, there's always "hope": (Chart: Citi with my additions) On Wednesday, we'll get flash CPI figures out of Europe- analysts are optimistic. Here's some color from SocGen: We expect euro area headline inflation to continue to improve for the eighth month in a row and climb to 1.