The key gauge of consumer prices in Tokyo fell 0.4 percent in July from a year earlier, marking a record 46 straight months of decline since October 1999, the government said in a preliminary report Friday.

The consumer price index for Tokyo’s 23 wards, excluding prices of perishable foods, stood at 97.4 against the base of 100 for 2000, the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry said. The index was down 0.1 percent from June.

Consumer prices in Tokyo are regarded as a leading indicator of prices across Japan.

Tokyo’s core CPI has been falling by 0.4 percent since April from levels a year earlier.

Including perishables, the index for July fell 0.5 percent from a year earlier to 97.3, down for the 47th straight month.

The year-on-year decline was attributed to price falls in food, rent and other costs related to housing, clothing and footwear as well as education and entertainment.

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