Japan’s wholesale inflation nears steady at 9.3% as commodity prices fall
© Reuters. A fishmonger works at the wholesale area on the opening day of the new Toyosu fish market, relocated from the Tsukiji market, in Tokyo, Japan, October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/Files
By Leika Kihara
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s November wholesale prices rose 9.3% from a year earlier, data showed on Monday, the rate of increase was almost unchanged from the previous month and showed signs of improvement. initial signal of inflation peak amid falling global commodity prices.
This is the 21st consecutive month that wholesale prices have increased year on year.
While food and energy costs continue to rise, the data could bring some relief to Japan’s economy, which relies almost entirely on fuel and raw material imports.
The increase in the corporate goods price index, which measures the prices companies charge each other for goods and services, beat market expectations for an 8.9 percent increase but was slightly lower. compared with an October-adjusted 9.4% annual gain.
The index is at 118.5, hitting an all-time high.
The import price index in yen terms in November was 28.2% higher than a year earlier, a sharp drop from a revised year-on-year increase, according to Central Bank of Japan (BOJ) data. of October was 42.3%. The currency has bounced back from multi-decade lows, dampening the increase in import costs.
“Companies have shifted the rising cost of raw materials to a wide range of goods. But some commodities have been hit by the recent drop in global commodity prices,” a BOJ official said.
Data showed oil and coal commodity prices rose 0.5% in November from a year earlier, slowing from a revised 2.8% gain in October.
Chemical and scrap metal prices also rose slightly, reflecting weak demand from China.
Global commodity prices and the weakening yen, which raises import costs, have pushed up Japan’s consumer and wholesale inflation – a trend that policymakers fear could affect Japan’s fragile economic recovery.