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CPI annual increase rises to 5.1 percent

21 October 2008

CPI annual increase rises to 5.1 percent

The Consumers Price Index (CPI) increased 5.1 percent for the year to the September 2008 quarter,

Statistics New Zealand said today. The annual rate has not been higher since the year to the June 1990 quarter. The CPI rose 1.5 percent in the September 2008 quarter. The transport group made the most significant contribution to the annual increase, rising 11.3 percent. Higher prices for petrol (up 29.3 percent) accounted for just over a quarter of the 5.1 percent increase in the CPI. If petrol prices had remained unchanged from the September 2007 quarter to the September 2008 quarter, the CPI would have risen 3.7 percent.

The other significant annual increases came from the food group (up 9.5 percent) – in particular grocery food (up 12.0 percent); and the housing and household utilities group (up 4.7 percent) – driven by purchase of new housing (up 4.6 percent) and electricity (up 6.9 percent).

Food prices increased 3.7 percent in the September 2008 quarter, the most significant contribution to the 1.5 percent increase in the September 2008 quarter CPI. The main driver to higher food prices was an increase in vegetables prices (up 20.0 percent), as a result of unusually wet weather. Prices for the housing and household utilities group were up 1.4 percent in the September 2008 quarter, with the most significant contribution coming from local authority rates and payments (up 4.7 percent).

The transport group increased 2.0 percent in the September 2008 quarter, mainly due to higher prices for petrol (up 4.6 percent), which were offset by lower prices for second-hand motor cars (down 8.0 percent). The CPI basket of goods and services has been updated and reweighted. For details see the commentary section and table 9 of the accompanying Hot Off The Press.

Geoff Bascand Government Statistician 21 October 2008


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