Japan’s November wholesale prices rose 9.3% year on year, according to data released on Monday, a rate of increase that was nearly unchanged from the previous month and suggested an inflation peak amid easing global commodity prices.
It was the 21st month in a row that wholesale prices increased year on year.
While food and energy prices continue to rise, the data may provide some relief to Japan’s economy, which is almost entirely reliant on imports for fuel and raw materials.
The increase in the corporate goods price index, which measures the prices that businesses charge each other for goods and services, outpaced market expectations for an 8.9% increase but fell short of the revised 9.4% annual increase seen in October.
The index reached its highest level ever, 118.5.
According to Bank of Japan (BOJ) data, the yen-based import price index was 28.2% higher in November than a year earlier, slowing sharply from October’s revised annual surge of 42.3%. The currency has recovered from multi-decade lows, allowing import costs to rise more slowly.
“Companies were passing on rising raw material costs for a broad range of goods. But some goods saw the impact of recent easing of global commodity prices,” a BOJ official told a briefing.
According to the data, petroleum and coal goods prices increased 0.5% year on year in November, slowing from a revised 2.8% increase in October.
Chemical and metal scrap prices also saw moderate price increases, indicating weakening Chinese demand.
Global commodity prices and the weakening of the yen, which raises the cost of imports, have been driving up wholesale and consumer inflation in Japan, a trend that policymakers fear will jeopardize the country’s fragile economic recovery.
(Adapted from JapanTimes.co.jp)
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