Wholesale inflation in Japan came close to stabilizing at 9.3% as commodity prices eased

  • Wholesale prices were up +9.3% in November year-over-year vs. f’cast +8.9%
  • Fuel costs continue to rise but at a moderate pace – the data
  • The decline in global commodity prices affects some commodity prices

TOKYO (Reuters) – Data on Monday showed Japan’s wholesale prices for November rose 9.3% from a year earlier, an almost unchanged rate of increase from the previous month, and showed initial signs of rising inflation amid slumping global commodity prices. .

It was the 21st consecutive month that wholesale prices showed an annual rise.

While food and energy costs continue to rise, the data may offer some comfort to the Japanese economy, which relies almost entirely on imports for fuel and raw materials.

The rise in the corporate goods price index, which measures the prices companies charge each other for goods and services, beat market expectations for a gain of 8.9%, but was just below the revised annual increase of 9.4% in October.

The index, at 118.5, reached an all-time high.

The yen-based import price index in November was 28.2% higher than a year earlier, lagging sharply from October’s revised annual increase of 42.3%, according to Bank of Japan (BOJ) data. The currency has rebounded from its lowest levels in several decades, which has led to a moderate rise in import costs.

“Companies have been forgoing higher raw material costs for a wide range of commodities. However, some commodities have seen the impact of the recent easing in global commodity prices,” a Bank of Japan official told a news briefing.

The data showed that prices of petroleum and coal commodities rose 0.5% in November from a year earlier, slowing from a revised 2.8% increase in October.

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The report showed that the prices of chemical commodities and scrap metals also witnessed moderate price gains, reflecting weak demand from China.

Global commodity prices and a weaker yen, which boosts the cost of imports, have pushed up wholesale and consumer inflation in Japan — a trend policymakers fear could hurt Japan’s fragile economic recovery.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara). Editing by Kim Coghill and Bradley Perrett

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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