16 Oct 2015

Consumer prices rise 0.3 percent

5:03 pm on 16 October 2015

Inflation data has sparked no big surprises with another low figure recorded.

The Consumers Price Index rose 0.3 percent in the three months to September, with annual inflation holding steady at 0.4 percent.

The rising costs of building a new house and fresh food, along with higher local body rates and house rents, were the main items pushing inflation higher, but cuts in ACC levies for car owners helped to offset that.

Domestic inflation pressures were flat for the quarter and the annual rise of 1.5 percent was the lowest in nearly 14 years.

There are some signs that the fall in the New Zealand dollar is flowing through into higher prices for imported goods, although that's yet to be felt to any extent in local shops.

Even so, inflation overall is well below the Reserve Bank's target of about 2 percent and that would give it every confidence to cut interest rates again.

But ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley did not expect the central bank to act quickly.

"On balance, we think the Reserve Bank will pause at its meeting later on this month in favour of waiting until December and cutting rates at that point," he said.

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