Japan’s Inflation Hits 41-Year High in 2023 (Update 1)

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s average core consumer prices rose 3.1% in 2023 from the previous year, marking their fastest increase in 41 years due mainly to higher food prices, the internal affairs ministry said Friday.

The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, stood at 105.2 against the 2020 base of 100. In 2022, the index gained 2.3%.

Prices rose for 455, or nearly 90%, of 522 products surveyed. Nonperishable food prices climbed 8.2% due to surging raw materials and logistics costs, while prices of household goods such as laundry detergent increased 7.9%.

The overall CPI, including fresh food prices, grew 3.2%. The CPI excluding fresh food and energy prices was up 4.0%.

In December alone, the core CPI climbed 2.3% from a year before to 106.4, rising for 28 months in a row, though slowing from the 2.5% rise in November.

Food prices excluding perishable items were up 6.2%, led by eggs, bread and ice cream. Compared with the previous month, however, prices inched down 0.1%.

Energy prices plunged 11.6% from a year earlier in December, bigger than November’s 10.1% decrease. Electricity and city gas fees plummeted 20.5% and 20.6%, respectively, partly thanks to government subsidies aimed at curbing fuel prices.

The Yomiuri Shimbun