Consumer prices in Australia collected 0.6 percent on quarter in the first quarter of 2014, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.
That was weaker than forecasts for 0.8 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous three months.
The most significant price rises this quarter were for tobacco (+6.7 percent), automotive fuel (+4.1 percent), secondary education (+6.0 percent), tertiary education (+4.3 percent), medical and hospital services (+1.9 percent) and pharmaceutical products (+6.1 percent).
These rises were partially offset by falls in prices for furniture (-4.3 percent), maintenance and repair of motor vehicles (-3.3 percent), international holiday travel and accommodation (-2.4 percent) and domestic holiday travel and accommodation (-2.4 percent).
The tobacco price increase was caused by the federal excise tax rise that went into effect December 1.
Education prices have risen with the commencement of the new school year, the bureau said.
Rises for medical and hospital services and pharmaceutical products were a result of the cyclical reduction in the proportion of patients who qualify for subsidies under the Medicare Benefits Scheme and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme at the start of each calendar year.
On a yearly basis, consumer prices gained 2.9 percent - also below expectations for 3.2 percent after showing 2.6 percent in the three months prior.
Seasonally adjusted, CPI was up 0.5 percent on quarter and 2.9 percent on year.
The Reserve Bank of Australia's trimmed mean for CPI was up 0.5 percent on quarter - below forecasts for 0.7 percent after showing 0.9 percent in the previous three months.
On a yearly basis, the trimmed mean gained 2.6 percent - unchanged from three months prior but missing expectations for 2.9 percent.
The RBA's weighted median was up 0.6 percent on quarter - below forecasts for 0.7 percent and down from 0.9 percent in Q4.
The median was up 2.7 percent on year versus expectations for 2.9 percent following the downwardly revised 2.5 percent in the previous three months (originally 2.6 percent).
by RTT Staff Writer
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