CPI Rises 0.5 Percent
The Consumers Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.5 percent in the September 2002 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand.
This follows an increase of 1.0 percent in the June 2002 quarter. The increase of 0.5 percent in the September 2002
quarter reflects higher prices for housing, household operation, alcoholic drinks and health care. These rises have been
partly offset by lower prices for transportation.
Housing prices rose by 0.9 percent in the September 2002 quarter, driven by increases in the purchase and construction
of new dwellings (0.6 percent), local authority rates (2.5 percent) and rents (0.8 percent). The annual round of rates
changes are normally reflected in the September and December quarters.
Household operation prices rose by 0.8 percent in the September 2002 quarter, mainly due to an increase of 1.5 percent
in electricity prices. The latest rise in electricity prices follows an increase of 1.9 percent in the June 2002
quarter. Electricity prices are now 6.1 percent higher than a year ago, due to widespread tariff increases.
Tobacco and alcohol prices rose by 1.3 percent in the September 2002 quarter, mainly driven by the increase in excise
duty on alcohol on 1 June 2002.
Personal and health care prices increased by 1.3 percent in the September 2002 quarter, mainly driven by higher prices
for medical specialist services and medical insurance.
The 0.8 percent fall in transportation prices made the most significant downward contribution to the CPI this quarter.
The fall was driven by lower prices for used cars (down 2.7 percent), petrol (down 2.4 percent) and international air
travel (down 1.9 percent).
On an annual basis, the CPI is 2.6 percent higher than a year earlier.
Brian Pink Government Statistician