Published 23 October 2014
The consumers price index rose 0.3% in the September quarter, and just 1% for the year to September.
The quarterly rise was the third consecutive 0.3% increase. The annual CPI shift, however, has taken the index from 1.5% for the March year to 1.6% in June, down to 1% in the latest calculations.
Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike said today: “Higher housing-related prices were responsible for about three-quarters of the rise in the CPI this quarter. The rest of the basket was relatively subdued.”
Prices for housing & household utilities rose 1.0%, reflecting higher local authority rates (up 3.8%), housing rentals (up 0.6%) & newly built houses (up 1.1%). Local authorities set their rates annually, and these are mainly shown in the September quarter CPI.
Lower prices for household contents & services (down 1.3%) reflected falls for textiles, furniture & whiteware. Communication also fell (down 1.4%), reflecting better-value telecommunication services (down 1.1%) & cheaper telecommunication equipment, mainly cellphone handsets (down 7.5%).
Transport prices were up 0.1%, with higher petrol prices (up 1.0%) & international air fares (up 1.4%) countered by cars (down 1.0%) & warrants of fitness. Fewer cars now require a six-month warrant of fitness, which has been shown as a price fall in the CPI.
Housing & household utilities was the main contributor to the annual index rise as housing rentals (up 2.2%), newly built houses (up 4.8%) & electricity (up 3.7%) all increased in price.
Audio-visual & computing equipment (down 9.8%) was the main downward contributor, and petrol prices were 1.8% lower than they were this time last year.
Mr Pike said Statistics NZ calculated the September quarter CPI using an updated basket of goods & services and updated expenditure weights as part of a 3-yearly review. “We are now using retail transaction data (scanner data) to measure price change for consumer electronic goods, which is a world first,” he said.
Attribution: Statistics NZ release.