Japan's food inflation soars to 31-year high, cutting consumption

TOKYO, Oct 21 (Nikkei) - Food prices in Japan rose at the fastest pace since July 1991 during the past week, Nikkei data shows, as producers scramble to pass on the impact of a softening yen and high commodity costs.

The seven-day average was up 4.5% on the year as of Tuesday, according to CPINow data. The trend threatens to hamper the economy's nascent recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, with poorer households hit the hardest.

Nikkei's CPINow is based on point-of-sale data from supermarkets and other retailers, reflecting shifts faster than government statistics. The daily index covers 217 products, 197 of which -- or 90% -- increased in price. The overall pace of growth accelerated by 1.5 percentage points from September, a sharper rise than during the most recent peak of 4.2% in October 2008.

Alcohol and beverage prices climbed 6.1% following a 0.4% dip in late September, after brewers raised consumer prices this month for the first time in 14 years. ...continue reading