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Daikin, Panasonic join in Japan's price hikes for appliances

Companies losing fight to keep goods cheap as materials and transport costs rise

Demand for air conditioners remains strong in Japan despite rising prices.    © Kyodo

TOKYO/OSAKA -- The price hikes in Japan have spread to appliances including air conditioners, dishwashers and refrigerators, as companies such as Daikin Industries and Panasonic struggle with the surging costs of raw materials.

Japan's consumer price index for "household durable goods" such as large appliances rose 7.5% in June from a year earlier, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications reports. By product category, air conditioners increased 11% to 130.1, the highest index level since March 2009. The growth rate is also the highest in 15 months. Refrigerators climbed around 15% for the third consecutive month.

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