/

Wholesale prices rise for third consecutive month

Kyodo

Wholesale prices rose 1.2 percent in June from a year earlier for the third consecutive monthly increase amid the yen’s depreciation and an increase in electricity and gas prices, the Bank of Japan said Wednesday.

The index of corporate goods prices stood at 101.6 against the 2010 base of 100, the central bank said in a preliminary report.

The rise followed a revised 0.5 percent gain in May.

The increase in wholesale prices reflects moves by companies to pass on rising prices of imported materials to product prices against the backdrop of the yen’s recent weakening, a BOJ official said.

But falling prices of materials such as copper, gold and aluminum in overseas markets due to uncertainty over the outlook for the Chinese economy could weigh on the index down the road, the official added.

By product, prices of electricity, gas and water surged 9.3 percent. Those of oil and coal products gained 8.6 percent.

Prices of information and communication equipment shed 5.9 percent due to fierce competition, while those of pulp and paper products dropped 2.5 percent, the central bank said.

On a month-on-month basis, the index was up 0.1 percent after staying flat in May. The BOJ revised the May figure downward from the 0.1 percent rise preliminarily reported.

In terms of the yen, Japanese export prices increased 11.7 percent from a year earlier, but dropped 2.7 percent on a month-on-month basis as the yen slightly strengthened in June.

Import prices surged 13.8 percent on the year, but decreased 3.2 percent from May.

Tertiary index up 1.2%

Jiji

The nation’s seasonally adjusted tertiary industry activity index in May rose 1.2 percent from the previous month, reflecting brisk demand from both individual and corporate clients, government data showed Wednesday.

The index stood at 100.8 against the 2005 base of 100, according to the data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It rose for the first time in two months.

The index rose for 12 of the 13 industries covered in the statistics.

The index for the finance and insurance industry rose 2.7 percent, buoyed partly by active stock trading.

The professional and technical service sector index was up 3.6 percent on the back of robust orders for civil engineering- and construction-related public works projects.

The wholesale and retail industry saw its index rise 0.8 percent, supported by strong sales of summer clothing.

The information and communications sector index rose 1.6 percent as orders for securities trading systems increased ahead of the introduction next January of new tax incentives for individual investors.