Japan Producer Prices Up 0.2% in Jan.

REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
Japanese national flag is hoisted atop the headquarters of Bank of Japan in Tokyo, Japan September 20, 2023.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Producer prices in Japan edged up 0.2 pct from a year earlier in January, up for the 35th consecutive month, the Bank of Japan said Tuesday.

The growth rate, which was unchanged from December, is on a decelerating trend as moves to pass on higher material and energy costs to prices are running their course.

In January, the producer price index, which measures the cost of goods traded between businesses, stood at 120.1 against the 2020 base of 100. Prices rose for 406 of the 515 items surveyed, and fell for 90.

“While moves to pass on higher material costs continue, such moves have slowed when compared with a while ago,” a BOJ official said.

By category, producer prices for food and beverages rose 4.4 pct, reflecting a rise in material and packaging costs. Those for petroleum and coal products jumped 6.6 pct on a rise in yen-denominated crude oil prices. Transportation equipment prices climbed 2.2 pct mainly due to moves to pass on higher logistics costs.

On the other hand, prices for lumber and wood products dropped 11.7 pct amid falling demand. Electricity, gas and water prices plunged 27.7 pct chiefly due to the effects of government subsidies.

The government’s gasoline subsidies pushed down the overall producer price index by about 0.5 pct.

In the same month, the index of yen-denominated prices at which companies import goods from abroad was down 0.2 pct, the 10th consecutive monthly decline.