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Japan’s Oct wholesale prices rise 9.1% yr/yr


By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan’s wholesale prices rose 9.1% in October from a year earlier, slowing from the previous month’s record gain but remaining at high levels as the weak yen continued to inflate the cost of raw material imports for companies.

The data underscores the challenge policymakers face in protecting a fragile economic recovery from stubbornly high import costs that are hurting corporate profits and consumption.

The corporate goods price index (CGPI), which measures the price companies charge each other for their goods and services, rose 9.1% in October from a year earlier, data showed on Friday.

The rise was slower than a record 10.2% jump in September but exceeded a median market forecast for an 8.8% gain. The index, at 117.5, extended a record high for a seventh month.

“October is the start of the latter half of Japan’s fiscal year 2022, so companies from a wide range of industries took the opportunity to raise prices and pass on higher raw material costs,” a BOJ official told a briefing.

Petroleum and coal prices rose 2.6% in October from a year earlier, slowing from a 14.5% gain in September reflecting falling global fuel prices.

But steel prices rose 22.4% and those for food by 6.9% as manufacturers continued to translate higher costs to automakers and retailers, the data showed.

The yen-based import price index surged 42.6% in October after a 48.5% spike in the previous month, the data showed, a sign the currency’s declines were pushing up the cost of importing goods ranging from fuel, food and other commodities.

Rising fuel and raw material prices have weighed on Japan’s fragile economic recovery, as more companies pass on higher costs to households in a hit to still-weak consumption.

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