Tokyo consumer prices rise 3.6% in November, biggest rise in 4 decades

Tokyo consumer prices rise 3.6% in November, biggest rise in 4 decades
Tokyo consumer prices rise 3.6% in November, biggest rise in 4 decades

Consumer prices in Tokyo rose 3.6% in November from a year earlier, marking the biggest increase since 1982 amid rising energy and food prices that further squeeze plus household budgets, according to government data Friday.

The sharp depreciation of the yen has inflated import costs for resource-poor Japan, with the core consumer price index excluding volatile fresh food rising for the 15th consecutive month, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Communications.

File photo taken in November 2022 showing flour sold at the Akidai supermarket in Tokyo’s Nerima district. (Kyodo)

Inflation data for Tokyo is seen as an indication of what to expect nationwide and the latest figures show inflationary pressure persisting. It remained above the Bank of Japan’s 2% target for the sixth consecutive month.

The pace of the gain accelerated from 3.4% in October, with November’s core CPI reading at its highest level since the 4.2% recorded in April 1982. The gain in prices has was larger than that which followed the country’s introduction of a 3% consumption tax in 1989. .

The rising cost of living has led the government to devise inflation-fighting measures for struggling households and businesses. The national core CPI already hit 3.6% in October and economists expect further gains towards the end of the year.

Accelerating inflation has complicated the BOJ’s efforts to maintain an ultra-low rate policy, a key factor in the yen’s sharp decline as global peers hiked interest rates to curb a surge in the ‘inflation.

Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the sharp increases seen in recent months will not continue into next year as most of them are due to rising raw material costs and imports.

Yet rising prices for daily consumer goods are already dampening consumer confidence, although private consumption, a key part of the economy, has so far been supported by pent-up demand following the removal of anti-corruption restrictions. coronavirus.

Energy prices jumped 24.4%, marking another month of double-digit growth as electricity and gas prices rose sharply. Food prices, excluding perishables, jumped 6.7%

After strong increases, partly caused by supply problems amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, crude oil prices have shown signs of stabilizing. But they are having a lagging impact on public services and the government plans to cut household electricity and gas bills from next year.

Helped by government subsidies to oil wholesalers to lower retail prices, gasoline prices fell 0.8%, marking the first drop since February last year. The pace of jet fuel price increases slowed to 6.7% from 11.4% in October, the data showed.

Yet town gas prices climbed 33.0% and electricity prices 26.0%.

The overall gain in core CPI came despite a slowdown in accommodation charges, which fell 16.6% under the government’s curtailment program to revive local tourism hit by COVID-19. The government plans to continue the program next year.

The government and the BOJ stress the need for more robust wage growth, which is essential for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s push for wealth redistribution and for the central bank to meet its inflation target of 2 % stably and sustainably.

The continuous rise in inflation has not prompted the BoJ to adjust its monetary policy, as it considers that the current inflation is not supported by wage growth and strong domestic demand, but by external factors such as than commodity prices.

The so-called core-core CPI, which removes both energy and fresh food, rose 2.5%, up for the 8th consecutive month.

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. prices consumption tokyo rise november strong rise decades

. Tokyo consumer prices rise November biggest rise decades

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