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CPI Rises 0.6 Per cent

Consumers Price Index: September 2001 quarter

CPI Rises 0.6 Per cent

The Consumers Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.6 per cent in the September 2001 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. This follows a rise of 0.9 per cent in the June quarter.

The increase of 0.6 per cent was strongly influenced by higher prices for food, alcoholic drinks and local authority rates.

Food prices rose 1.8 per cent, driven by price rises in grocery foods (up 1.4 per cent), and meat, fish and poultry (up 4.2 per cent). Grocery food prices were mainly influenced by a 4.1 per cent rise in milk prices. Milk prices have increased by 10.8 per cent over the past year. The quarterly increase in meat, fish and poultry prices was driven by higher beef prices (up 4.4 per cent in the September quarter).

Alcoholic drink prices contributed strongly to the overall CPI movement in the September 2001 quarter, increasing by 2.3 per cent. This increase follows a rise of 0.5 per cent last quarter. Both these increases reflected a June 2001 increase in excise duty on alcohol. Alcoholic drink prices are now 3.6 per cent higher than in the September 2000 quarter.

The housing group rose by 0.6 per cent in the September 2001 quarter, driven by an increase in home ownership costs, which rose by 0.7 per cent. Within the home ownership subgroup, a 2.7 per cent increase in local authority rates made the greatest contribution.

The most significant downward contribution came from a fall of 1.1 per cent for transportation prices. This movement was mainly due to lower prices for petrol (down 4.1 per cent) and airfares (down 2.6 per cent). Petrol prices are now 7.0 per cent lower than in the September 2000 quarter. A rise in prices was recorded for used cars (up 1.1 per cent in the September 2001 quarter). Used car prices are 4.1 per cent higher than a year earlier.

On an annual basis, the CPI is 2.4 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Brian Pink Government Statistician END

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