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CPI Rises 1.0 Percent

The Consumers Price Index (CPI) rose by 1.0 percent in the June 2002 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand.

This follows rises of 0.6 percent in both the March 2002 and December 2001 quarters.

The increase of 1.0 percent in the June 2002 quarter reflects higher prices for petrol and international air travel, partly offset by falls in food prices, especially for fresh vegetables.

Transportation prices rose 3.3 percent, driven by 9.9 percent price increases for both petrol and international air travel.

Petrol price rises recorded early in the June quarter were partly offset by decreases in the second half of the quarter. A rise in international air travel prices is usual at this time of year.

If prices for petrol and international air travel had remained unchanged from the March 2002 quarter, the CPI would have risen 0.5 percent in the June 2002 quarter.

Household operation prices rose by 1.3 percent in the June 2002 quarter, driven by increases of 1.9 percent in electricity prices and 3.1 percent for furniture prices.

Most electricity retailers increased their tariffs and there were changes from summer to winter rates in some areas.

Housing prices rose by 0.7 percent in the June 2002 quarter, driven by an increase of 0.6 percent for the purchase and construction of new dwellings. The rising cost of construction materials was widely reported as a contributing reason for the new dwellings increase. Rents increased by 0.7 percent and real estate services rose by 2.2 percent.

The only downward contribution to the CPI in the June 2002 quarter came from a fall of 0.5 percent in food prices.

This movement was mainly due to lower prices for fresh vegetables, which fell by 7.4 percent after adjusting for normal seasonal change.

On an annual basis, the CPI is 2.8 percent higher than a year earlier.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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