Frail Japanese Yen Worsens High Inflation Effects on Consumers

The weak Japanese yen made its repercussions to consumers worse as it coupled with high resource prices.

These latest developments in Japan have left firms struggling with high inflation or the surging costs of products and services.

We want to help our followers holding units of the Japanese yen stay properly updated with the developments relating to this foreign currency. Hence, we are sharing this forex news with them.

According to the news posted online by independent, bilingual news website Free Malaysia Today, the Japanese yen briefly plunged to a 20-year low against the US dollar at 134.55 Japanese yen last Thursday, June 9.

At the time of writing this report, US$1 is equivalent to 134.77 Japanese yen. This feeble official currency of Japan is a current dilemma among consumers as it comes with the expensive cost of goods.

The producer price index surged 9.1 percent on the year last month. It gained by over 5 percent for the 11th consecutive month, which is a level not crossed since February 1981.

426 of the 515 goods that make up the producer price index, or more than 80 percent, increased in price lately. Iron ore and coal are increasingly getting more expensive.

Nippon Steel increased its wholesale price for steel sheets by 20,000 Japanese yen or US$148.07 in today’s US dollars. Such a figure is roughly 15 percent per ton for shipments starting this month.

Nippon Steel has proclaimed more than 90,000 Japanese yen or US$666.32 worth of price hikes since October 2020.

This high inflationary trend is spreading to consumer products. Think tank Teikoku Databank relayed that over 10,000 food items from 105 publicly-traded firms in Japan are hiking in price this 2022.

More companies are also factoring in the weak Japanese yen and crude oil prices, although most hikes have so far stemmed from climbing wheat and cooking oil prices. Calbee raised prices for its potato chips line last January for the first-ever time in three years.

This leading Japanese snackmaker confirmed that it would increase prices for the Potato Chips Crisp line this coming July for the first time since it went available on supermarket shelves in 2016.

The rising packaging and cooking oil costs have weighed heavily on Calbee. Company chief executive officer and president Shuji Ito cited that they had been working to improve their productivity, yet they are at their limit.

Masaru Ikemi is the president and chief executive officer of seafood distributor Maruha Nichiro Corporation, which is one of the world’s largest fishery, food processing, and aquaculture establishments.

He said they have no choice but to increase prices, even if that step means they sell fewer products.

Maruha Nichiro Corporation is raising prices for almost all retail frozen items by 5 to 28 percent, beginning with shipments on August 1, which is merely six months after its first hike in three years last February.

We gathered that Japan had witnessed more sluggish growth in nominal wages than the United States and Europe. This fact means even a small price increase can greatly blow consumers.

Therefore, we learned that with a weak Japanese yen and high inflation, households are likely to cut back on spending these days as they lose purchasing power.

We feel dismal to learn that the weak Japanese yen makes the ordinary working Japanese people’s lives inconvenient as it comes with the costly consumer items. Thus, we think the Japanese government should focus on this current pressing national concern.

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