Consumer prices in New Zealand increased 0.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2015, down from 0.8 percent in the previous period due to lower petrol cost. It is the smallest rate since the September 1999 quarter, when prices decreased 0.5 percent.
The prices of tradable goods and services (which face foreign competition) decreased 2.8 percent in the year, with lower prices for petrol (down 15 percent) and for audio-visual and computing equipment (down 13 percent). Tradable prices are now at their lowest level since the June 2009 quarter, despite petrol prices now being 12 percent higher than they were in that quarter.
Non-tradable goods and services increased 2.3 percent, the lowest annual increase since the September 2012 quarter. The main contributor was cigarettes and tobacco prices (up 14 percent), influenced by the increase in excise duty in January 2015. Housing and household utility prices were up 3.0 percent in the year, with higher prices for newly built houses excluding land (up 5.0 percent), housing rentals (up 2.3 percent), and electricity (up 3.6 percent).
Excluding cigarettes and tobacco, the annual CPI decreased 0.2 percent; excluding petrol, the CPI increased 1.0 percent over the year.
On a quarterly basis, the consumers price index fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters.
The fall was caused by an 11 percent fall in petrol prices. Without petrol, the CPI rose 0.3 percent.
4/20/2015 11:21:39 AM