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New Zealand Inflation Gains 0.1% On Quarter In Q4

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Consumer prices in New Zealand climbed an unadjusted 0.1 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2018, Statistics New Zealand said on Wednesday.

That beat expectations for a flat reading following the 0.9 percent quarterly increase in the three months prior.

Food prices fell 1.3 percent, influenced by lower prices for vegetables (down 21 percent).

Recreation and culture rose 2.5 percent, influenced by higher prices for games, toys, and hobbies (up 13 percent), and overseas accommodation prepaid in New Zealand (up 4.9 percent).

Transport rose 1.1 percent, influenced by seasonally higher prices for international air transport (up 7.6 percent) and rental cars (up 108 percent).

On a yearly basis, consumer prices rose 1.9 percent - unchanged from the third quarter but exceeding expectations for an increase of 1.8 percent.

Housing and household utilities increased 3.1 percent, with rentals for housing up 2.4 percent, construction up 3.6 percent, and local authority rates up 5.1 percent.

Transport increased 3.5 percent, with petrol up 11 percent. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco increased 3.8 percent, with cigarettes and tobacco up 9.2 percent.

Communication prices decreased 3.7 percent, with telecommunication equipment down 21 percent.

Construction prices increased at an average of 3.6 percent in the December 2018 year across the country. In Auckland, construction prices increased at their slowest rate since March 2013.

Prices of newly built houses increased 2.2 percent in Auckland, 2.9 percent in Wellington, 6.9 percent in the rest of the North Island, 1.2 percent in Canterbury, and 5.7 percent in the rest of the South Island.

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