• Kyodo

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Consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in November from a year earlier for the first increase in five months, the government said Friday, reflecting a smaller decline in energy prices and higher food prices.

The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, stood at 103.4 against the 2010 base of 100, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.

Energy prices, which include costs for electricity and gasoline, fell 11.1 percent in November, but the decline was smaller than an 11.8 percent drop in October.

Gasoline prices fell 17.5 percent, while electricity fees lost 5.6 percent. But food prices excluding fresh foods increased 2.3 percent.

The core CPI for Tokyo’s 23 wards in December, seen as an indicator for the nationwide index, rose 0.1 percent from a year earlier to 101.9 for the first increase in six months.

Meanwhile, average monthly household spending in November dropped an inflation-adjusted 2.9 percent from a year earlier to ¥273,268 ($2,273), the ministry said in a separate report, declining for the third straight month.

The income of salaried households decreased a real 1.8 percent to an average ¥425,692 for the third straight monthly fall.

Household spending figures are a key indicator of private consumption, which accounts for about 60 percent of Japanese gross domestic product.

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