New Zealand Inflation Rate Slows in Q1
The CPI increased 1.5 percent in the year to the March 2014 quarter, following a 1.6 percent increase in the year to the December 2013 quarter. About half of the annual increase came from housing and household utility prices, which increased 3.3 percent.
4/15/2014 11:55:02 PM
The price of buying a newly built house without land increased 5.1 percent for the year. In Auckland the increase was 5.9 percent and in Canterbury it was 7.6 percent.
There were also increases for housing rentals (up 2.0 percent), property maintenance (up 4.5 percent), property rates and related services (up 4.2 percent), and household energy (up 2.7 percent). Cigarette and tobacco prices increased 10.2 percent and insurance prices increased 5.9 percent for the year.
The main downward contribution for the year came from cheaper audio-visual and computing equipment (down 10 percent). There were also lower prices for vehicles (down 3.1 percent). The strong New Zealand dollar has had a downward influence on the retail prices of internationally traded goods, including cars and appliances.
Compared with the previous quarter, the inflation rate accelerated to 0.3 percent. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays.