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CPI rises 1.1 percent in September quarter

CPI rises 1.1 percent in September quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 1.1 percent for the September 2010 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. "The September quarter rise in consumer prices reflects higher food prices and higher central and local government charges, some of which usually occur at this time of year," Statistics New Zealand's prices manager Chris Pike said.

The CPI measures the rate of price change of goods and services purchased by households.

The food group rose 2.4 percent in the September 2010 quarter, with higher prices for vegetables (up 19.7 percent) and milk, cheese, and eggs (up 5.2 percent).

The housing and household utilities group rose 1.4 percent, with local authority rates rising 4.4 percent and electricity prices rising 2.8 percent. About one-quarter of the electricity increase was due to retailers charging 15 percent GST on electricity consumed in the September month and invoiced in October.

The alcoholic beverages and tobacco group rose 2.3 percent, reflecting higher cigarette and tobacco prices (up 4.0 percent), and alcoholic beverage prices (up 1.6 percent). Both increases were affected by increases in excise duty.

The transport group rose 1.0 percent with prices for 'other private transport services' up 8.4 percent, influenced by increases in vehicle relicensing and driver licensing fees. Petrol prices fell 1.3 percent.

The CPI rose 1.5 percent for the year to the September 2010 quarter. This annual increase is the lowest since the year to the March 2004 quarter.

In the year to the September 2010 quarter, transport prices rose 3.7 percent, reflecting higher petrol prices (up 5.8 percent). Housing and household utility prices rose 2.4 percent. The most significant downward contribution came from a fall of 24.6 percent for audio-visual equipment, which is the largest annual decrease since the series began in the June 1999 quarter.

Statistics NZ visits 3,000 shops around New Zealand to collect prices for the CPI and check product sizes and features.

ENDS

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