Higher in­fla­tion could cause rate lift

Pilbara News - - News - Shane Wright

The Re­serve Bank of Aus­tralia may fi­nally have some cover to con­sider an in­ter­est rate rise with the cost of liv­ing in­creas­ing through the March quar­ter on the back of higher petrol prices.

The Aus­tralian Bureau of Statis­tics re­ported last week that prices were up by 0.5 per cent.

It took the an­nual in­fla­tion rate to 2.1 per cent, back in­side the Re­serve Bank’s tar­get band of 2-3 per cent.

The RBA’s pre­ferred mea­sures of un­der­ly­ing in­fla­tion also in­creased, tak­ing their an­nual rates to 1.8 per cent.

The big­gest driver of the lift in in­fla­tion was au­to­mo­tive fu­els which lifted by 5.7 per cent in the quar­ter.

New dwelling pur­chase costs lifted by one per cent, there was a 1.6 per cent jump in med­i­cal and hos­pi­tal ser­vice costs, while elec­tric­ity prices were up by 2.5 per cent.

There were some falls in prices as well.

In­ter­na­tional travel dropped by 3.8 per cent, fruit prices eased by 6.7 per cent and fur­ni­ture costs were down by 3.5 per cent.

While in­fla­tion was up na­tion­ally it was a dif­fer­ent story in Perth where prices were flat for the three months.

Petrol prices were up by 7.7 per cent, but a 2.4 per cent drop in rents helped drag the over­all in­fla­tion rate down.

Over the past 12 months, con­sumer prices across Perth lifted by one per cent.

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