23 Jul 2009

Australia's annual inflation rate falls

7:26 am on 23 July 2009

Consumer prices in Australia rose 0.5% in the three months to June, as higher health costs offset lower food prices.

On an annual basis, inflation fell to 1.5%, below the Reserve Bank's 2% to 3% target band.

Inflation has plunged from a peak of 5% last September, however underlying inflation remained stubbornly high at 3.8%.

The ABC reports the quarter's food price falls were largely driven by substantial one-off declines in the cost of fruit and vegetables due to seasonal and weather factors, but food prices are still up 4.8% over the past year.

The three biggest rises during the quarter were in health, household contents and service, and clothing and footwear.