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New Zealand Consumer Prices Climb 0.6% In Q2

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Consumer prices in New Zealand advanced 0.6 percent on quarter in the second quarter of 2019, Statistics New Zealand said on Tuesday.

That was in line with expectations and up from 0.1 percent in the previous three months.

Housing and household utilities rose 0.7 percent on quarter, influenced by higher prices for rentals for housing (up 1.0 percent). Food prices rose 0.6 percent, influenced by higher prices for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 1.4 percent).

Household contents and services rose 2.5 percent, influenced by higher prices for furniture and furnishings (up 4.8 percent). Transport rose 0.6 percent, influenced by higher prices for petrol (up 5.8 percent).

On a yearly basis, consumer prices climbed 1.7 percent - again matching forecasts and up from 1.5 percent in the three months prior.

Housing and household utilities increased 2.8 percent, with rentals for housing up 2.5 percent, purchase of housing up 3.5 percent, and local authority rates up 5.1 percent.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco increased 3.5 percent, with cigarettes and tobacco up 7.7 percent. Food prices increased 1.1 percent, with restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food up 3.3 percent.

The average price for 1 liter of 91 octane petrol was NZ$2.13 in the June 2019 quarter, up from NZ$2.01 in the March 2019 quarter, and from NZ$2.06 in the June 2018 quarter. The average price for 1 pack of 25 cigarettes was NZ$37.49 in the June 2019 quarter, up from NZ$37.48 in the March 2019 quarter, and from NZ$35.19 in the June 2018 quarter.

Housing and household utility prices rose 0.7 percent in the June 2019 quarter. This was the largest upward contributor to the CPI, driven by higher prices for rent (up 1.0 percent) and purchase of housing (up 0.7 percent). Regionally, rent prices rose the most in Wellington (up 1.4 percent), compared with 0.6 percent in Auckland, and 0.5 percent in Canterbury.

Housing and household utilities was the main upwards contributor to the 1.7 percent CPI increase in the June 2019 year. The rise in this group was influenced by higher prices for rents, purchase of housing, and local authority rates.

Actual rentals for housing increased 2.5 percent nationwide in the year to June 2019. Regionally, rent prices increased the most in Wellington, up 3.8 percent. Rents increased 2.0 percent in Auckland, 3.6 percent in the rest of the North Island, 0.9 percent in Canterbury, and 3.3 percent in the rest of the South Island.

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