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Transport drives increase in CPI

Embargoed until 10:45am – 17 January 2008

Transport drives increase in CPI

The Consumers Price Index (CPI) increased 1.2 percent in the December 2007 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. An increase in prices for the transport group (up 3.2 percent) was the most significant contributor.

The increase in the transport group was mainly due to price increases for petrol (up 5.4 percent) and international air transport (up 11.9 percent). If petrol prices had remained constant over the same period, the CPI would have risen 1.0 percent. Prices for domestic air transport made a downward contribution for the transport group, falling 4.6 percent this quarter.

An increase in prices for the food group (up 1.5 percent) also made a significant contribution in the December 2007 quarter, with higher prices in the grocery food subgroup (up 3.4 percent) being the most significant contributor. The increase in the grocery food subgroup was mainly driven by higher prices for cheese, butter and fresh milk.

Prices for the housing and household utilities group rose 0.9 percent in the December 2007 quarter. This was pushed up mainly by higher prices for the purchase of new housing (up 1.3 percent), electricity (up 1.2 percent) and actual rentals for housing (up 0.5 percent).

For the year to the December 2007 quarter, the CPI increased 3.2 percent, following a rise of 1.8 percent for the year to the September 2007 quarter. The groups that made the most significant upward contributions for the year to the December 2007 quarter were housing and household utilities (up 5.2 percent), transport (up 5.9 percent) and food (up 4.4 percent).

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
17 January 2008

ENDS

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