The key gauge of consumer prices in Tokyo fell 1 percent in June from a year earlier for a record 33rd consecutive month of decline, mainly due to sharp falls in prices of recreational and educational goods, including computers, the government said Friday in a preliminary report.
The consumer price index for Tokyo’s 23 wards, excluding the volatile prices of perishable foods, came to 97.9 against the 2000 base of 100, the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry said.
The figures show that prices are still in a weakening trend despite the government’s declaration on May 17 that the economy has bottomed out.
The Tokyo CPI, including perishables, fell 0.8 percent from a year earlier to 98.1, down for a record 34th straight month.
The 0.8 percent drop was smaller than the declines of 1.2 percent in May and 1.3 percent in April, largely because prices of fresh vegetables recovered, a ministry official said.
“From January to March, we saw prices being affected by the drop in fresh vegetable prices that resulted from the warm weather,” the official said. “But farm producers are now making adjustments and prices are rising.”
Prices of fresh vegetables rose 1.6 percent in June from a year earlier, up for the first time since August.
On the decline were prices of durable goods for education and recreation, which fell 14 percent, and of household durable goods, including air conditioners, which shrank 8.8 percent.
Consumer prices in Tokyo are regarded as the lead indicator for prices nationwide.
Compared with the month before, prices of recreational services grew 0.7 percent in June because of a rise in package-tour prices. “This was due to the World Cup soccer matches, which led to higher prices for package tours to South Korea,” the ministry official said.
This brought to 0.3 percent the margin of decline from a year earlier in prices of recreational services, compared with a 1.4 percent drop in May.
Meanwhile, the nationwide CPI, excluding perishables, fell 0.8 percent in May from a year earlier to 98.6 for the 32nd straight month of decline.
The nationwide CPI including perishables fell 0.9 percent to 98.7, down for the 33rd consecutive month.
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