Core Consumer Prices in Tokyo’s 23 Wards Increase 3.5% in April

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A man checks products at a supermarket in Tokyo on Thursday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The core consumer price index for Tokyo’s densely populated 23 wards rose 3.5% from a year earlier in April, up for the 20th straight month, the internal affairs ministry said Friday.

Growth in the price index accelerated from the previous month on a faster rise in food prices, after slowing in February and March thanks to the government’s program to ease the burden of higher utility bills.

The core CPI, which excludes often volatile fresh food prices, stood at 104.8 against 100 for the base year of 2020. Month on month, the index was up 0.5%.

The index for Tokyo is considered a leading indicator of price trends across Japan. The nationwide CPI for April is due out on May 19.

In the 23 Tokyo wards in April, prices for food, excluding perishables, jumped 8.9%, reflecting a spate of price hikes for ice cream, yogurt and frozen food products. The figure was up from the previous month’s 8.1% and the highest since June 1976.

Among food items, prices were up 9.5% for prepared food and 10.5% for confectionary. Egg prices surged 28% due to supply shortages caused by the spread of avian influenza.

In contrast, energy prices were down 2.6%, with electricity rates down 7.9% but city gas rates up 6.2%.

The overall CPI for the Tokyo wards, including fresh food prices, rose 3.5%. The narrower index excluding fresh food and energy prices was up 3.8%.