• Kyodo News

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Corporate service prices in 2009 fell a record 2.5 percent from the previous year as demand for cargo shipment and other business services was sluggish amid the economic downturn, data released Tuesday by the Bank of Japan showed.

The BOJ’s corporate service price index stood at 98.4 against the base of 100 for 2005, marking the steepest year-on-year decline since the central bank began compiling comparable data in 1985.

The transportation industry saw the largest decline of 7.3 percent in corporate service prices among the surveyed sectors due to slow trade last year.

Within the industry, prices of international air freight transportation plunged 34.0 percent, while those of ocean freight transportation dropped 31.5 percent. Prices for toll roads fell 14.0 percent as the government cut tolls as part of its pump-priming measures.

Advertising prices declined 6.2 percent and prices of information- and communications-related services, such as software development, fell 1.1 percent.

On a monthly basis, the corporate service price index for December fell 1.5 percent from a year earlier to 97.8, the lowest level since March 1987 and the 15th consecutive monthly decline.

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