New Zealand’s annual inflation growth falls slightly to 7.2%

The annual growth of New Zealand’s consumer price index fell slightly to 7.2 per cent in the September 2022 quarter, the country’s statistics department said on Tuesday.

The 7.2 per cent increase follows an annual increase of 7.3 per cent in the June 2022 quarter which was a 32-year-high, and an annual increase of 6.9 per cent in the March 2022 quarter, Xinhua news agency quoted Stats NZ as saying.

The main driver for the 7.2 per cent annual inflation in the September 2022 quarter was housing and household utilities due to rising prices for construction, rentals for housing, and local authority rates, the department said.

Prices for the construction of a new house increased 17 per cent in the September 2022 quarter compared with the September 2021 quarter, it said, adding it follows 18 percent annual increases in both June and March 2022 quarters.

“The cost to construct a new house has continued to rise with supply-chain issues, labour costs, and higher demand, all of which combine to push up prices,” said prices senior manager Nicola Growden.

The next largest contributor to the annual increase was from the transport group, due to higher prices for petrol and diesel, Growden said.

The consumer price index rose 2.2 per cent in the September 2022 quarter compared with the June 2022 quarter, mainly influenced by the food group and the housing and household utilities group, statistics show.

Transport was also a main driver of the quarterly rise driven by international airfares, Growden said.

International airfares rose 20 per cent in the September 2022 quarter compared with the June 2022 quarter.

Annually, they fell 8.4 per cent in the September 2022 quarter compared with the September 2021 quarter, statistics show.

Inflation has eased slightly in the New Zealand economy amid a volatile international environment that continues to put pressure on prices, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

“Inflation globally is high, with forecasts showing other countries’ consumer prices are yet to peak,” Robertson said, citing high inflation in Australia, the UK and US.

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