TOKYO: Japan’s wholesale prices rose in April at their fastest annual pace in six and a half years, data showed on Monday, a sign that rising energy and commodities costs were pinching corporate margins.

With the Covid-19 pandemic weighing on domestic consumption, there is uncertainty about whether companies would pass on higher costs to households and help the central bank achieve its elusive 2% inflation target, analysts say.

The corporate goods price index (CGPI), which measures the price companies charge one another for goods and services, rose 3.6% in April from a year earlier, Bank of Japan data showed, faster than a median market forecast for a 3.1% gain.

The rise, which followed a 1.2% increase in March, was the fastest pace of gain since September 2014 and was inflated partly by the base effect of last year’s pandemic-related plunge.

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