Japan’s wholesale prices jump 9 pct in November

Japan’s wholesale prices jump 9 pct in November

TOKYO (XINHUA/APP): Japan’s wholesale prices surged 9.0 percent year-on-year in November, logging the steepest gain on record, amid higher energy costs and a weak yen, Bank of Japan (BOJ) data showed Friday.
The prices of goods traded between companies rose for the ninth month in a row, and the 9.0 percent year-on-year increasing pace was the highest since comparable data became available in January 1981, following a revised 8.3 percent increase in October, the BOJ said.
Japan, due to lacking natural resources, is susceptible to swings in crude oil and other energy prices as it relies on imports. The weaker yen also inflates import costs, though it might benefit exporters on overseas profits.
According to the BOJ data, import prices jumped 44.3 percent, marking the sharpest gain since January 1981, while export prices increased by 15.0 percent, both in yen terms.
BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has said the yen’s recent weakness is positive for the Japanese economy, underscoring its profit-boosting effect on exporters and firms with overseas subsidiaries.
Prices of petroleum and coal products surged 49.3 percent in November from a year ago, reflecting higher commodity prices.
Lumber and wood prices soared 58.9 percent year-on-year, and prices for nonferrous metal advanced 32.8 percent, as demand for energy and raw materials was boosted with the recovering economies.
Japanese companies are increasingly facing pressure to pass on higher costs to consumers even though they hesitate to raise prices due to the fear of hurting consumer demand. Some food companies have announced price hikes to pass on rising raw material costs.

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