Japan’s wholesale prices rose 2.7 percent in November from a year earlier for the eighth straight month of increase and the biggest gain in five years, as a weaker yen and higher energy prices led to rises in a wide range of items, the Bank of Japan said Wednesday.
The index of corporate goods prices stood at 102.6 against the 2010 base of 100, the central bank said in a preliminary report. The year-on-year rise of 2.7 percent, which followed a 2.5 percent gain in October, was the highest since October 2008, according to the BOJ.
Due to the yen’s depreciation and rising energy prices, electricity, gas and water bills grew 10.8 percent, lifting wholesale prices. Iron and steel prices rose 4.4 percent as manufacturers factored in rising energy and material prices into product prices, a BOJ official said.
Prices of lumber and wood products climbed 13.9 percent due to the effects of a weaker yen and higher prices of building materials amid last-minute housing demand in Japan before the scheduled sales tax hike in April. They were also pushed up by recovering demand for housing starts in the United States, the official said.
Also contributing to the gain were prices of petroleum and coal products, which surged 12.6 percent.
Meanwhile, prices of electronic components and devices fell 1.8 percent amid slowing demand for smartphones, the official said.
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