Producer prices up 2.7% in FY17, 1st time in 3 years

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s producer prices in fiscal 2017 grew 2.7 percent from the previous year, up for the first time in three years, partly on the back of higher crude oil prices and the yen’s weakening, the Bank of Japan said Wednesday.

The average producer price index in the year, which ended in March, stood at 99.3 against 100 for the base year of 2015.

The rise was the steepest since the 3.1 percent growth in fiscal 2008, excluding the effects of the April 2014 consumption tax rate hike to 8 percent from 5 percent.

Of the 744 items covered by the survey, prices rose for 392 and fell for 272.

Reflecting such factors as the yen’s depreciation and rises in prices of crude oil and copper, prices went up 14.1 percent for petroleum and coal products, 12.7 percent for nonferrous metals and 9.4 percent for iron and steel.

By contrast, prices of electric machinery and equipment, including solar cells, dropped 1.2 percent.

In March alone, the producer price index rose 2.1 percent from a year before to 100.3. The pace of growth slowed from February’s 2.6 percent due chiefly to a recent fall in crude oil prices amid concerns over a U.S.-China trade war.Speech

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