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Japan's Wholesale Prices Surge 7 Percent

Corporate goods prices rose at their fastest pace in more than 27 years, pushed up by surging oil and commodities prices, the Bank of Japan said.

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's corporate goods prices rose at their fastest pace in more than 27 years, pushed up by surging oil and commodities prices, the Bank of Japan said Tuesday.

Higher wholesale costs may mean that the consumer price index will climb even further, as domestic companies pass on their increasing business costs to consumers.

Japan's index for domestic corporate goods prices increased 7.1 percent in July from a year earlier to 112.0, growing at the fastest pace since an 8.1 percent gain in January 1981. Then, as now, high oil prices were driving inflation.

The increase was larger than June's 5.7 percent rise and beat expectations of a 5.7 percent increase from a survey compiled by Kyodo news agency.

Behind the index's rise were surging prices of petroleum and coal products, where were up 43.6 percent after a 36.0 percent increase in June, according to the data. Iron and steel product prices climbed 26.7 percent after rising 19.8 percent in June.

The corporate goods price index measures price developments of goods bought and sold by companies. The central bank uses 2005 as the base year for the index.

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