TOKYO: Consumer staples prices in Tokyo rose at the fastest rate in more than a year in November, according to data released on Friday, as electricity and fuel costs rose due to the rising global energy prices and overnight costs.
The rise in prices highlights the possibility that nationwide inflation will accelerate in the coming months as pressures from commodity shortages gradually trickle down to retailers and consumers.
The Japanese capital’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), which includes petroleum products but excludes fresh food prices, rose 0.3% in November from a year earlier, according to government data.
This was the fastest year-over-year increase since July of last year, when the index gained 0.4%, but was slightly weaker than the median market forecast for a gain of 0.4%.
The Tokyo index, which is considered a leading indicator of national price trends, was pushed up by the largest annual increase in energy prices in more than eight years as well as by the fastest rise in fuel costs in more than four decades.
It was also affected by a 57.6% increase in year-over-year accommodation costs, flattered by the weak base effects of the various travel-related discounts offered by the government last year.
The cost of tuna and other fresh fish has also increased, likely due to soaring fuel prices as well as stronger domestic demand, a government official said, although they are not included in the basic consumer price index.
Nationwide consumer inflation in Japan has barely increased, although other major economies, such as the United States, are worried about the risk of inflation being too high after their economies open up. following the blockages induced by the pandemic.
(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Sam Holmes)