Tokyo core consumer prices log steepest rise in 40 years

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A man shops at a supermarket in Tokyo on June 15.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The core consumer price index for Tokyo’s densely populated 23 wards in October rose 3.4% from a year earlier, marking the steepest growth in 40 years and four months excluding impacts of consumption tax hikes, government data showed Friday.

Amid soaring food, electricity and gas prices, the index’s growth rate in October tied with the level marked in June 1982, when price surges triggered by the second oil crisis were coming to an end.

The core CPI, which excludes often volatile fresh food prices, stood at 103.2 against 100 for the base year of 2020, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said.

The result was bigger than the median forecast of a 3.1% climb in a Jiji Press survey of 17 economic research institutes.

Month on month, the core CPI was up 0.4%.

The Tokyo index is considered a leading indicator for nationwide price trends. The nationwide consumer price index is set to be released on Nov. 18.

“Overall, prices are rising at a high rate,” an official of the ministry said, expressing a sense of vigilance.

In October, prices of food excluding perishables rose 5.9% due to higher raw materials prices and the yen’s rapid weakening, marking the biggest increase since the 6.5% rise in February 1981. Prices of a wide range of food products rose, including beer, hamburgers, imported pork and edible oil.

Energy prices soared 24.2%, led by a 26.9% increase in electricity charges and a 29.3% rise in city gas rates.

Mobile phone fees grew 1.8% as the impact of the introduction of low-cost plans from major operators waned.

Meanwhile, accommodation fees dropped 9.5%, reflecting the launch earlier this month of a nationwide travel discount campaign by the Japanese government.

The overall CPI, including fresh food prices, rose 3.5%, and the index that excludes fresh food and energy prices grew 2.2%.