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Mask prices in Tokyo’s densely populated 23 wards jumped 11.3 percent in March from a year before, reflecting supply shortages stemming from the spread of COVID-19, government data showed Friday.

Face mask prices rose 3.2 percent month on month, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said.

Hotel charges fell 1.4 percent year on year, due to restraints on nonessential outings to prevent infections with the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Gasoline prices fell 0.1 percent, the first drop in four months, reflecting a decline in crude oil prices in line with a slowdown in the global economy.

The core consumer price index for the 23 wards in March rose 0.4 percent, up for 33 months in a row, as menu prices at sushi and other restaurants rose due to higher ingredient costs.

The result matched the median forecast among 16 economic research institutes surveyed.

The core CPI, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, stood at 101.7 against 100 for the base year of 2015. Month on month, the index was flat after seasonal adjustment.

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