Petrol and seasonal vegetable prices push up CPI
Petrol and seasonal vegetable prices push up CPI – Media release
16 October 2013
The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.9 percent in the September 2013 quarter, Statistics NZ said today. More than half of the rise came from higher petrol prices and seasonally high vegetable prices.
"If petrol and vegetable prices had remained unchanged from the June quarter, the CPI would have risen 0.3 percent," prices manager Chris Pike said.
Petrol prices rose 5.6 percent to their highest quarterly level. The average price of a litre of 91 octane petrol in the September 2013 quarter was $2.17, up from $2.05 in the June 2013 quarter.
Vegetable prices showed a seasonal rise of 20 percent. They often rise by this much in September quarters.
Housing-related costs accounted for most of the remaining quarterly rise. Local authority rates rose 3.8 percent, compared with 3.6 percent in the September 2012 quarter. Rises in the September 2013 quarter for housing rentals (up 0.5 percent) and newly built houses (up 0.9 percent) were influenced by price increases in Canterbury.
Annual change in prices
Annually, the CPI increased 1.4 percent for the year to the September 2013 quarter.
The main upward contribution came from prices for housing and household utilities, which were up 3.2 percent, reflecting increases for housing rentals (up 2.0 percent), newly built houses (up 4.1 percent), and property maintenance services (up 5.1 percent).
Individually, the highest influence came from cigarette and tobacco prices, which increased 12 percent, reflecting a rise in excise duty in January 2013. Petrol prices were up 3.7 percent for the year.
The main downward contributions came from cheaper audio-visual and computing equipment (down 11 percent), and from telecommunications services (down 3.9 percent), reflecting better-value Internet and cellphone services.
Apart from petrol, most of the key upward contributions came from non-tradable goods and services (which do not face foreign competition). For tradables, the strong New Zealand dollar helped to dampen the prices of imported goods and services.
The CPI measures the rate of price change of goods and services purchased by New Zealand households. Statistics NZ visits 3,000 shops across New Zealand to collect prices for the CPI and check
product sizes and features.