• Dec wholesale prices up 8.5% yr/yr vs f’cast +8.8%
  • Rising fuel, raw material costs weigh on corporate profits
  • Slow wage growth keeping consumer inflation subdued

TOKYO, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Japan’s wholesale prices rose 8.5% in December from a year earlier, data showed on Friday, increasing for a 10th month in a sign higher raw material and fuel costs continued to weigh on corporate margins.

The rise in the corporate goods price index (CGPI), which measures the prices companies charge each other for their goods and services, slowed from a revised 9.2% spike in November. It compared with a median market forecast for a 8.8% gain.

The persistent cost pressures, coupled with a weak yen that inflates the price of imported goods, add to the pain for the world’s third-largest economy as it emerges from a consumption slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

While Japan has not been immune to the impact of rising commodity inflation, firms have been cautious about passing on higher costs to consumers on concerns cost-sensitive households may hold back on spending.

Core consumer prices rose just 0.5% in November from a year earlier, far modest than the jump in wholesale inflation and well below the central bank’s 2% target.

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Reporting by Leika Kihara
Editing by Shri Navaratnam

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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