16 October 2018
The consumers price index (CPI) increased 1.9 percent in the September 2018 year, driven by higher petrol prices, Stats
NZ said today.
This follows a 1.5 percent annual inflation rate for the June 2018 year. For the September 2018 quarter, the inflation
rate was 0.9 percent.
“Petrol prices increased 19 percent in the September 2018 year,” prices senior manager Paul Pascoe said. “This is the
highest annual increase since June 2011.”
Petrol rose 5.5 percent in the September 2018 quarter. The average price of 91 octane, after discounts (for the whole of
the September quarter), reached $2.18, up from $2.06 in the June quarter. The price of petrol rose continually
throughout the quarter, and by the last week of September was 3.2 percent above the September quarter average pump
Multiple factors contributed to the petrol price increase this quarter. The exchange rate fell over the quarter, while
crude oil prices rose. In addition, a regional fuel tax of 10 cents per litre plus GST was introduced in Auckland on 1
Note: Dubai crude oil data presented in the graph above sourced from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and
Employment’s Weekly fuel price monitoring
Petrol prices increased 8.8 percent in Auckland over the quarter, compared with 3 to 5 percent across the rest of the
"While petrol only makes up about 4 percent of the CPI, it can have a large impact on overall inflation," Mr Pascoe
said. "It contributed about 30 percent to the quarterly CPI movement for September, and about 40 percent to the annual
This is the first time petrol prices have risen for four consecutive quarters since September 2008, during the global
When petrol is removed from the CPI, the increase was 0.7 percent for the September 2018 quarter (compared with 0.9
percent overall), and 1.2 percent for the September 2018 year (compared with 1.9 percent overall).
A 3.5 cents per litre nationwide increase in petrol tax was introduced on 30 September. The effects of this price
increase will be seen in the December 2018 quarter.
The falling exchange rate, which makes imports more expensive for New Zealanders, also contributed to a 2.6 percent rise
in the price of audio-visual equipment such as televisions, cameras, and home theatre systems in the September 2018
quarter. This is the first quarterly rise for audio-visual equipment since September 2016, as quality adjustments
generally cause price falls for these goods.
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