Japan’s July wholesale inflation slows for seventh month

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese wholesale inflation slowed in July year-on-year, easing for a seventh straight month due to softer energy utility costs, central bank data showed on Thursday, a sign the pressures that drove up consumer prices are running their course.

The 3.6% rise in the corporate goods price index (CGPI), which measures the price companies charge each other for their goods and services, compares with the median market forecast for a 3.5% annual increase and follows a 4.3% annual increase in June.

After peaking at 10.6% in December, wholesale inflation has slowed for seven months in a row, the data showed.

The data underscores the Bank of Japan’s view that consumer inflation will slow in coming months as global commodity prices slide from last year’s peak levels.

For July, government subsidies to mitigate the impact of the spike in households gas and electricity utility fees, which shaved 0.6 percentage points off the overall increase, helped curb price hikes, the data showed.

Yen-based import prices fell 14.1% in July from a year earlier, falling for a fourth straight month, easing concerns about elevated import bills for companies reliant on raw material imports.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto. Editing by Sam Holmes)