• Kyodo

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Wholesale prices rose 3.5 percent in November compared with last year, the fastest pace since September 2014, the Bank of Japan said Tuesday.

Prices increased for the 11th straight month amid higher energy costs. After stripping out the effect of the consumption tax hike in 2014, the rate of increase was the fastest since October 2008, when it soared 4.5 percent.

The index of prices for goods traded among companies came to 99.8 against the 2015 base of 100, the BOJ said in a preliminary report.

Despite the rise in wholesale prices, consumer inflation remains far below the BOJ’s 2 percent target amid tepid domestic demand. Years of persistent deflation have made companies reluctant to raise wages, and households averse to increases in the prices of products and services.

Core consumer prices, which exclude fresh foods because of their volatility, increased just 0.8 percent in October from a year before even as the BOJ maintains easy monetary policy.

“The rise in prices is attributable to the strong global economy. Domestic demand is still only responsible for a portion of this increase,” a BOJ official told a press briefing.

Among items that comprise November wholesale prices, oil and coal products surged 19.0 percent as resource-rich countries continued to cut production, which pushed up electricity and other utilities 10.2 percent.

Nonferrous metals such as copper and aluminum rose 17.2 percent amid strong demand from the United States and China.

In yen terms, import prices climbed 10.2 percent, pushed up by a weaker Japanese currency, while export prices increased 6.8 percent.

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