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Consumer Prices Up 0.4 Percent

Consumer Prices Up 0.4 Percent

The Consumers Price Index (CPI) increased 0.4 percent in the March 2005 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand. Housing made the most significant upward contribution to the increase, which also reflects higher prices for food, and recreation and education. These increases were partly offset by lower prices for transportation, and apparel.

Housing prices rose 1.2 percent in the quarter, driven by increases in the purchase and construction of new dwellings (up 1.5 percent). The rising cost of construction components was widely reported by surveyed builders as a contributing factor to this increase.

Prices for food increased 0.7 percent in the quarter, while recreation and education prices increased 1.5 percent. Transportation prices decreased 1.7 percent in the March 2005 quarter, mainly due to price decreases for international air travel (down 15.8 percent).

Over the 12 months to the March 2005 quarter, the CPI rose 2.8 percent. Significant upward contributions to the annual change came from the purchase and construction of new dwellings (up 7.2 percent), and electricity (up 9.7 percent). Significant downward contributions were made by household appliances and equipment (down 4.6 percent), and international air travel (down 2.8 percent).

In the March 2005 quarter, the non-tradable component (up 1.1 percent) made the largest contribution to the CPI all groups movement. The tradable component decreased 0.5 percent in the quarter.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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