The prices of goods traded among companies in Japan rose in February. The increase was slower than the previous month due to slowing energy cost rises.
The Bank of Japan says the Producer Price Index rose 8.2 percent last month from a year earlier. That's 24 months in a row it's been heading upward, although the rise was slower than the 9.5 percent jump in January.
Crude oil prices were relatively lower, as electricity and city gas rose. The increase slowed to stand at 33.9 percent up on the year thanks to government subsidies. That's less than the 49 percent hike we saw in January.
But 87 percent of all items covered by the survey were more expensive.
In a related development, the Import Price Index rose 14.6 percent from a year earlier on a yen basis.
The pace was sharply down from the peak in July last year, when prices surged by nearly 50 percent.