New Zealand Q3 Inflation Rises 0.5%

New Zealand Q3 Inflation Rises 0.5%

The consumers price index (CPI) had an annual increase of 1.9 percent, and rose 0.5 percent from the June 2017 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

Economists had expected inflation to be 0.4 per cent in the three months ended September 30, for an annual rate of 1.8 per cent, according to the median in a poll of 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

For now, inflation sits comfortably in line with the Reserve Bank's target. The RBNZ said in August that it expects price growth to weaken in the fourth quarter and to fall below an annual rate of 1% in early 2018, which combined with below-forecast economic growth, suggests no change in policy for some time to come.

Housing-related prices continued to increase, up 1 percent in the quarter and 3 percent annually.

Stats NZ said that housing and household utilities prices increased 3.0% over the year to September, with purchase of new housing up 5.4%.

Meanwhile, rentals for housing rose 2.2% annually - 2.7% in Auckland, 3.7% in Wellington, and a fall of 1.9% in Canterbury.

Rents rose 0.6 percent in Q3 and 2.2 percent in the year.

On a yearly basis, inflation climbed 1.9 percent - again topping expectations for 1.8 percent and up from 1.7 percent in the three months prior. Local government rate rises were also above the headline CPI.

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Those gains were partially offset by weaker transport prices which fell 1.1%, a result largely reflecting cheaper petrol and global airfares.

Petrol prices fell 1.7 percent in the quarter and were up 4.5 percent on the year.

Transport prices were the biggest drag on prices, falling 1.1% on quarter.

Global air fares fell 5.5 percent this quarter and 2.7 percent in the year to September.

Transport prices fell 1.1 percent, with cheaper petrol prices (down 1.7 percent), and global airfares (down 5.5 percent).

Dwelling insurance rose 6.1 percent this quarter and 12 percent in the year.

However, most of the difference was on the tradables side, which includes relatively volatile items such as food and fuel prices.

The tradables CPI, which includes goods and services that compete with global rivals, rose 0.2 percent in the quarter and was up 1 percent for the year. The annual increase of 2.6 percent in construction of new dwellings (excluding land) is the lowest annual increase since September 2010, before the Canterbury earthquakes.

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