• Kyodo

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Wholesale prices rose 2.5 percent in April from a year earlier, the sharpest hike in 2 1/2 years, amid higher crude oil and other commodity prices, the Bank of Japan said Monday.

The BOJ’s index of corporate goods prices grew for the seventh consecutive month to 105.6 against the 2005 base of 100, also affected by surging demand for building materials needed for reconstruction in the northeast.

The result was stronger than the average market forecast of a 2.1 percent rise in a Kyodo News survey. In March, the index expanded 2.0 percent.

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