Increase in New Zealand’s cost of living reaches new high

The cost of living has seen a sharp increase for many households in New Zealand due to higher prices for petrol and mortgage interest payments, data from Stats NZ revealed on Thursday.

The increase in the annual cost of living, as measured by the household living-costs price index, was the highest recorded since the series began in 2008 for seven out of the 13 household groups, said Stats NZ, New Zealand’ statistics department.

The cost of living was 5.2 per cent higher for the average household in the December 2021 quarter than the December 2020 quarter, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Stats NZ data.

The increase in living cost was higher for every household group in the December 2021 quarter compared with the December 2020 quarter, with living cost increases ranging from 4.8 per cent for the beneficiary household group to 5.4 per cent for the highest-spending household group, it said.

“However, this follows a long period of lower increase in living cost experienced by the highest expenditure group,” consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said in a statement.

The cost-of-living increase was mainly influenced by higher prices for petrol, mortgage interest payments, and second-hand motor cars, Dewbery said.

Prices for all interest payments, including mortgage interest payments, increased 7.8 per cent in the December 2021 quarter, statistics show.

“Interest payments started falling in 2018 and are now starting to jump back up. However, they are still at a lower level than they were two years ago,” Dewbery said, adding highest-spending households spend 7.3 per cent of their expenditure on interest payments, compared with 4.6 per cent for the average household.




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