The Bank of Japan says the prices of goods traded among companies fell in April for a 13th straight month. It says the figure was down 4.2% from the same month last year.
BOJ officials say the decline is mainly due to a drop in resource prices. A slowdown in the Chinese economy is bringing down the prices of crude oil, copper and other commodities, according to Japan's (NHK WORLD) radio.
Among key items in the index, petroleum and coal products plunged by about 22%. Prices of electricity, gas and water dropped nearly 16%, while nonferrous metals were down almost 15%. Chemical products also declined by 8%, due partly to cuts in government-set prices for pharmaceuticals.
The officials say crude oil and steel prices appear to have hit bottom in international trading. But they say such commodities are still declining in yen terms, due to the recent appreciation of the Japanese currency