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NZ – CPI up 0.7 Percent for the Year

NZ – CPI up 0.7 Percent for the Year

The consumers price index (CPI) increased 0.7 percent from the June 2012 quarter to the June 2013 quarter, Statistics NZ said this week. "This annual increase is the lowest since 1999, and the fourth annual increase in a row below 1 percent," prices manager Chris Pike said. The annual CPI increase included a rise of 0.2 percent for the June 2013 quarter. "There were increases in electricity and housing-related prices, countered by lower petrol and motor car prices,"

The consumers price index (CPI) increased 0.7 percent from the June 2012 quarter to the June 2013 quarter, Statistics NZ said this week.

"This annual increase is the lowest since 1999, and the fourth annual increase in a row below 1 percent," prices manager Chris Pike said.

The annual CPI increase included a rise of 0.2 percent for the June 2013 quarter. "There were increases in electricity and housing-related prices, countered by lower petrol and motor car prices," Mr Pike said.

In the June 2013 quarter, electricity prices rose 2.6 percent. Vegetable prices (up 7.0 percent) were influenced by seasonal price rises for tomatoes and lettuce. The purchase of newly built houses (up 1.7 percent) and housing rentals (up 0.4 percent) were influenced by rises in both the North and South islands. The strongest of these housing-related price rises were in Canterbury, with purchase of newly built houses up 2.9 percent and housing rentals up 1.1 percent. Dwelling insurance (up 9.9 percent) also rose.

Countering these rises, petrol prices fell 2.5 percent in the June 2013 quarter, and were at their lowest level since the September 2011 quarter. Fruit prices fell 4.5 percent, influenced by seasonally lower prices for apples and kiwifruit. Both second-hand car prices (down 1.9 percent) and new car prices (down 1.0 percent) also fell.

The key contributor to the annual increase of 0.7 percent was higher cigarette and tobacco prices (up 12 percent), reflecting a rise in excise duty on 1 January 2013. Housing rentals (up 2.1 percent) and purchase of newly built houses (up 4.1 percent) were influenced by price rises in the South Island, particularly Canterbury. Electricity (up 3.4 percent) and local authority rates (4.3 percent) also increased in the year to the June 2013 quarter. These increases were partly offset by decreases for petrol (down 2.8 percent), telecommunication services (down 4.9 percent), domestic air fares (down 12 percent), and audio-visual equipment (down 14 percent).

The CPI measures the rate of price change of goods and services purchased by New Zealand households. Statistics NZ visits 3,000 shops across New Zealand to collect prices for the CPI and check product sizes and features.