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According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the national consumer price index (excluding fresh food, core CPI) in November was 101.2, down 0.9% from the same month of the previous year. Consistent with Reuters predictions. Prices have been in the negative territory again since October when the boosting effect of the consumption tax hike has run its course, and the core CPI has fallen further in November, the sharpest decline since September 2010. In addition to the decrease in utility bills, there are also policy factors such as reductions in accommodation charges and mobile phone charges, so the decline is unlikely to stop.
Energy prices are the main reason for the widening decline in November, with electricity prices falling 7.3% year-on-year, gas prices falling 4.5%, and gasoline prices falling. Looking at the comprehensive index, excluding energy from the core CPI, it has decreased by only 0.3% from the previous year.
Also, university tuition (private) fell by 4.3% due to the impact of free education. Accommodation charges fell by 34.4% year-on-year, and the rate of decline narrowed slightly from October. It seems that the recovery of demand due to the use of “GoTo Travel” etc. contributed, but it continues to decline significantly. The main items that have risen are limited to communication costs and tobacco costs.
Takeshi Minami, a senior researcher at the Norinchukin Research Institute, said that the factors behind the decline in November were prominent policy factors, so “it tends to seem that it is not directly related to the supply and demand environment. However, energy should be considered cheap because the economy is sluggish, including in Japan, and demand has been stimulated by reducing accommodation costs in a policy manner, which is a result of a lack of demand in a broad sense. “
The comprehensive index fell 0.9% year-on-year.
As for future price outlook, although GoTo Travel was suspended at the end of the year and the beginning of the year, the system itself will continue, and the mobile phone charges will be reduced due to the strong intention of the Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Also, although the crude oil market has reversed, the reflection on utility costs will be delayed by about half a year.
Mari Iwashita, the chief market economist at Daiwa Securities, said, “The core CPI will inevitably continue to move negatively until next spring due to the downward pressure on energy prices and GoTo travel until the middle of next year. In addition, mobile phones will continue to move negatively next year. We are looking to reduce communication charges. “