Consumer prices in Australia were up 1.6 percent on year in the first quarter of 2012, the Reserve Bank of Australia said on Tuesday - well below estimates for 2.2 percent after showing 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The weaker than expected showing all but guarantees that the RBA will hike interest rates from the current 4.25 percent at next week's monetary policy meeting.
On a quarterly basis, inflation added just 0.1 percent - also below forecasts for 0.6 percent following the flat reading in the previous three months.
The RBA trimmed mean was up 2.2 percent on year and 0.3 percent on quarter. These also missed forecasts following the 2.6 percent annual increase and the 0.6 percent quarterly gain in Q4.
The RBA weighted median was up 2.1 percent on year and 0.4 percent on quarter after coming in higher by 2.6 percent on year and 0.5 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter.
by RTT Staff Writer
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