Japan’s wholesale prices, excluding the impact of a consumption tax increase, declined for the first time in 20 months in November with a 0.2 percent fall from a year earlier, the Bank of Japan said Wednesday.
Lower prices of chemical products stemming from sluggish demand in Asia, falling petroleum and coal product prices amid the downturn in the oil market and a drop in rice prices led to the first drop since March 2013, a BOJ official said.
The index of corporate goods prices, excluding the effect of the consumption tax hike in April to 8 percent from 5 percent, stood at 102.3 in the month against the 2010 base of 100, the central bank said in a preliminary report.
Price trend is a key indicator for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to move Japan’s economy out of its long deflationary malaise.
Including the tax impact, the wholesale prices rose 2.7 percent in the month from a year earlier for the 20th straight month of increase, driven by higher prices of iron and steel, metal products and nonferrous metals, the BOJ said.
The pace of increase was slower than a 2.9 percent rise in October and 3.6 percent growth in September, reflecting the recent downturn in the oil market.
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