Business / Economy

Japan's wholesale prices decline for 20th month straight

Kyodo

Wholesale prices dropped 2.2 percent in November as lower oil prices helped drag the downtrend into its 20th consecutive month, Bank of Japan data showed Monday.

The result underscores the fact that the central bank faces a difficult challenge in attaining its 2 percent inflation target. Wholesale prices tend to affect consumer prices, which have been in negative territory in recent months.

Prices for petroleum and coal fell 5.7 percent and those for nonferrous metals slid 5.4 percent. Prices for electricity, gas and water logged a 10.8 percent drop and chemical products fell 5.8 percent.

Among gainers, prices for business-oriented machinery rose 1.8 percent.

Export prices fell 7.8 percent and import prices tumbled 10.2 percent, both in yen terms.

Lower energy prices also led to a drop in consumer prices in October, bringing them 0.4 percent lower from a year earlier and down for the eighth month straight, according to government data released late last month.