Japan’s wholesale prices decline 1.6 pct in June as virus hits demand

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TOKYO, July 10 (Xinhua) — Japan’s wholesale prices fell 1.6 percent in June from a year earlier, owing to demand for a broad range of products continuing to wane due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) said on Friday.

The latest reading, however, slowed from an initial 2.7 percent decline logged a month earlier, which marked the sharpest fall in 43 months, owing to the pandemic causing a global slowdown in economic activities resulting in crude oil prices tumbling.

The latest prices of goods traded among companies, meanwhile, fell for a fourth successive month, the BOJ said, with oil and coal products’ prices dropping 25.9 percent compared to a revised 36.5-percent nosedive booked a month earlier as the global pandemic hammered economic activities.

As for the latest reading, a BOJ official said demand in major economies had improved, with prices lifted by a coordinated oil cut by major producing countries.

“Rising crude oil prices somewhat supported the overall wholesale prices, but the virus spread continues to put pressure on domestic demand for a wide range of products including agricultural items,” a BOJ official said.

Wholesale prices, excluding the impact of a consumption tax hike from 8 to 10 percent in October last year, dropped 3.1 percent year-on-year, marking the fifth consecutive monthly decrease, the central bank said, although had improved from the 4.2-percent drop booked a month earlier.

Import prices slumped 15.6 percent while export prices dropped 4.1 percent in the recording period year-on-year, in yen terms, the BOJ also said. Enditem

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