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Capital Goods Price Index Rises 0.9 Percent

Capital Goods Price Index Rises 0.9 Percent

Capital goods prices rose 0.9 percent in the December 2003 quarter, when compared with the September 2003 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. On an annual basis, the Capital Goods Price Index (CGPI) rose 1.5 percent from the December 2002 quarter to the December 2003 quarter.

The most significant contribution to the overall increase for the December 2003 quarter came from the residential buildings index, which rose by 3.2 percent. The main reasons cited by respondents for this quarter's price increase were the rising costs of construction materials and increasing labour costs. This is the fifth consecutive quarter in which the residential buildings index has been the most significant upward contributor to the CGPI. In the year to the December 2003 quarter, the residential buildings index rose by 8.1 percent. The non-residential buildings index increased by 1.6 percent in the December 2003 quarter, and recorded an annual increase of 5.2 percent from the December 2002 quarter to the December 2003 quarter.

The increases in residential and non-residential buildings were partially offset by a 0.8 percent fall in the plant, machinery and equipment index in the December 2003 quarter. Respondents cited a more favourable exchange rate, falling supplier prices and increasing competition in the market place as the main reasons for this quarter's decrease. The plant, machinery and equipment index has recorded quarterly falls in the last eight quarters, and is now 5.9 percent lower than in the December 2001 quarter. The transport equipment index decreased by 0.8 percent in the December 2003 quarter, and recorded a fall of 2.0 percent from the December 2002 quarter to the December 2003 quarter.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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