Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


NZ consumer prices unexpectedly rise in December quarter

NZ consumer prices unexpectedly rise in December quarter on more expensive airfares, housing

By Paul McBeth

Jan. 21 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand inflation unexpectedly edged higher in the final three months of 2013, led by more expensive airfares, housing and dairy prices.

The consumers price index increased 0.1 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31, slowing from a quarterly increase of 0.9 percent, according to Statistics New Zealand. That was against a forecast decline of 0.1 percent in a Reuters survey of economists and the Reserve Bank’s expectation of a 0.2 percent fall. The annual pace of inflation was 1.6 percent, its fastest pace since March 2012 and slightly ahead of forecasts.

The increase was underpinned by a 12 percent rise in the price of international airfares, the biggest quarterly gain in four years, and a 6.7 percent increase in domestic flights.

“International airfares usually rise in December quarters,” prices manager Chris Pike said in a statement. “This quarter’s rise reflects seasonally higher air fares to Asia and Europe.”

Prices for housing and household utilities rose 0.5 percent with a 1.1 percent rise in the cost of new housing and a 1.6 percent increase in property maintenance services. Prices for milk cheese and eggs advanced 4.2 percent in the quarter.

Those were offset by a 20 percent drop in the price of vegetables and a 3.5 percent decline in the price of petrol.

Investors were awaiting the release of today’s data with the Reserve Bank scheduled to review monetary policy next week. Governor Graeme Wheeler had previously indicated he will start hiking the 2.5 percent official cash rate this year to head off the threat of future inflation as the Auckland and Christchurch property markets continue to bubble and as the Canterbury rebuild gathers momentum.

Before the release, traders were betting the Reserve Bank will hike interest rates by 109 basis points over the coming year, according to the Overnight Index Swap curve, and economists had been pencilling in March as the likely date for Wheeler to start tightening policy.

Tradable inflation, which includes goods and services facing international competition, shrank 0.5 percent for an annual decline of 0.3 percent. Non-tradable inflation rose a quarterly 0.5 percent for an annual pace of 2.9 percent, its fastest pace since September 2011.

The annual pace of inflation, which stayed in the Reserve Bank’s target band of between 1 percent and 3 percent, was driven by a 3.2 percent increase in housing and household utilities, with a 4.7 percent increase in new housing prices, a 2.1 percent rise in rental prices, 4.3 percent increase in property maintenance, and a 3 percent rise in electricity prices. Petrol prices for an annual 0.9 percent

Prices for clothing and footwear fell an annual 1.4 percent, led by cheaper women’s clothing, clothing accessories and men’s footwear, and 2.8 percent decline in the annual price of communications was led by a 21 percent slide in prices for telecommunication equipment.

The level of discounting in the quarter was unchanged at 15 percent of prices discounted from the September period.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news