Japan’s service prices creep up

27 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

TOKYO: Japan’s corporate service prices rose for the second straight month in April due to a rebound in advertising and freight fees, data showed on Wednesday, a sign the economy was gradually emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic’s initial hit.

But the gain was driven mostly by fuel costs and the base effect of the previous year’s sharp drop, suggesting higher commodities and transportation prices could pinch corporate bottom lines, report agencies.

The services producer price index, or the price companies charge each other for services, increased 1 per cent in April from a year earlier, Bank of Japan data showed, accelerating from a 0.7 per cent gain in March.

Property rent and advertisement fees rose in April largely in reaction to last year’s plunge caused by the outbreak of the pandemic, which triggered Japan’s first state of emergency curbs.

Ocean freight transportation prices spiked 16.5 per cent as carriers passed on rising fuel and container costs, the data showed.