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Domestic wholesale prices were flat in fiscal 2000, following a 1 percent decline in fiscal 1999 and a 2.1 percent drop in fiscal 1998, the Bank of Japan said Monday.

The domestic wholesale price index for the year to March 31 came to 96 against a base of 100 for 1995, the BOJ said.

Due to crude oil price hikes, prices for petroleum and coal products rose 14.3 percent and those for chemicals increased 2.6 percent, while those for pulp and paper rose 2.4 percent.

Electrical machinery posted a price decline of 3.3 percent in the reporting year, compared with a 3.1 percent drop the previous year.

For March alone, the WPI declined 0.5 percent to 95.6 from a year earlier for the sixth-consecutive month of decline. It was down 0.1 percent from February.

Edible agricultural, live stock and fishery products declined 2.2 percent from the previous month.

“It is necessary to take note of the possibility that downward pressure on prices will strengthen, resulting from weak demand,” a BOJ official said.

The export price index decreased 0.4 percent from the previous month on a contract basis, but increased 2.4 percent from February in yen terms, reflecting the depreciation of the yen, the central bank said. The index increased 4.9 percent from a year earlier.

The import price index increased 0.3 percent from the previous month in terms of contract currencies, but increased 3.7 percent from February in yen terms. The March import index increased 10 percent compared with the same month last year.

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