Japan's consumer price index rises fastest in more than 16 years
Japan's economic indicators on Friday showed the fastest rise of the nation's consumer price index (CPI) in more than 16 years, a slowing down of household spending, a slightly better unemployment rate and stronger industrial output data for July, the dpa reported. Japan's core consumer price index (CPI) grew 2.4 per cent in July from a year before, marking the 10th straight monthly rise, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said Friday. The CPI growth, which was faster than the average market expectation of a 2.3-per-cent rise, was mainly due to surging oil prices, the government said. The core CPI, without fresh food prices, stood at 102.4 against 100 for the base year of 2005. Meanwhile, monthly household spending, which accounts for about half of Japan's gross domestic product, fell a real 0.5 per cent in July from a year earlier to 298,366 yen (2,729 dollars), the government said. The monthly income of wage-earning households dropped 3.5 per cent to 587,732 yen. The nation's unemployment rate recovered by 0.1 point to 4 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, compared to a month before. Some 2.56 million people were jobless in July, when there were 89 jobs available for every 100 job seekers. The number of job offers fell 1.9 per cent, however, while the number of job seekers grew 0.7 per cent from the previous month, the labor ministry said. The government also released the nation's industrial production for July, which grew a seasonally adjusted 0.9 per cent from the previous month. The output data, which came out better than a 2.2-per-cent drop in June, was helped by a boost in exports of cars and trucks, the report said. The index of output at mines and factories stood at 107.9 against 100 for the base of 2005. Auto exports to Europe, the Middle East and other Asian nations are increasing, according to the ministry officials. Transport equipment was the largest contributor for the output expansion in July, followed by electrical machinery, non-ferrous metal, and iron and steel. The index of industrial shipments rose 1.6 per cent to 108.6. But the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications expected output from manufacturers to fall 2.9 per cent in August.