TOKYO (Reuters) – Core consumer prices in Tokyo rose at the fastest pace in over a year in November, data showed on Friday, as electricity and fuel costs surged due to higher global energy prices and the costs of overnight stays jumped.
The uptick in prices highlights the chance nationwide inflation will pick up in coming months as pressures from raw material shortages gradually pass through to retailers to consumers.
The core consumer price index (CPI) for Japan’s capital, which includes oil products but excludes fresh food prices, rose 0.3% in November compared with a year earlier, government data showed.
That marked the fastest year-on-year rise since July last year, when the index gained 0.4%, but was slightly weaker than a median market forecast for a 0.4% gain.
The Tokyo index, which is considered a leading indicator of nationwide price trends, was pushed up by the biggest year-on-year jump in energy prices in over eight years as well as the fastest rise in fuel costs in more than four decades.
It was also impacted by a 57.6% year-on-year increase in accommodation costs, which was flattered by the low base effects of various travel-related discounts offered by the government last year.
The cost of tuna and other fresh fish also rose, likely due to soaring fuel costs as well as stronger domestic demand, a government official said, though they are not included in the core consumer price index.
Nationwide consumer inflation in Japan has barely risen even as other major economies, such as the United States, are worrying about the risk of too-high inflation after their economies opened up from pandemic-induced lockdowns.
(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Sam Holmes)