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Domestic wholesale prices dropped 2.1 percent in June from the same month last year, down for the fourth consecutive month, the Bank of Japan said Wednesday.

The domestic wholesale price index in June came to 97.5 against the 1995 base of 100. Compared with the previous month, however, wholesale prices remained unchanged for the first time in six months, breaking the downward trend since January, the central bank said.

The wholesale price index measures inflation on the level of corporate transactions and is considered to foreshadow trends in consumer prices.

Wholesale prices of electronics goods fell 0.2 percent from May, due to intensified sales competition, while those of steel dropped 0.5 percent, reflecting weakened demand for construction materials, the BOJ said.

In contrast, wholesale prices of processed foods including soft drinks rose 0.3 percent from the previous month with a price increase in ingredients. Prices for petroleum products also went up, by 1.1 percent, in line with a rise in the petroleum market, the central bank said.

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