onsumers price index (CPI) rose 0.4 per cent in the June 2015 quarter, following falls of 0.3 per cent and 0.2 per cent in the March 2015 and December 2014 quarters, Statistics New Zealand said today.
“The main impact came from higher petrol prices, which were up 8.8 per cent in the June quarter. Without petrol, the CPI was flat for the quarter,” prices manager, Chris Pike said.
The average price of a litre of 91 octane petrol in the June 2015 quarter was $1.95 compared with $1.79 in the March quarter. By the end of the June quarter, petrol pump prices were 4.1 per cent above the average price for that quarter.
Prices for the housing and household utilities group rose 0.7 per cent for the latest quarter. Prices for newly built houses, excluding land, were up 1.5 per cent nationally (2.8 per cent in Auckland, and 0.7 per cent in Canterbury). Housing rental prices rose 0.6 per cent, with Auckland prices up 0.8 per cent and Canterbury up 0.7 per cent.
These price rises were partly offset by lower prices for domestic airfares (down 13 per cent) following price rises in the previous two quarters. Domestic airfares were down 3 per cent from a year earlier.
Telecommunication services also fell for the June quarter (down 1.9 per cent).
Annual prices rise 0.3 per cent
The CPI increased 0.3 per cent in the year to the June 2015 quarter, following a 0.1 per cent increase in the year to the March 2015 quarter.
The prices of tradable goods and services (which face foreign competition) decreased two per cent in the year, with lower prices for petrol (down 7.4 per cent) and for international airfares (down 6.3 per cent).
Non-tradable goods and services increased two per cent, the smallest annual increase since the December 2001 quarter. The main contributor was cigarette and tobacco prices (up 14 per cent), influenced by the increase in excise duty in January 2015. Excluding cigarettes and tobacco, the CPI fell 0.1 per cent in the year to the June 2015 quarter.
Housing and household utility prices were up 2.5 per cent in the year, with higher prices for newly built houses excluding land (up 5.3 per cent), housing rentals (up 2.3 per cent), and local authority rates (up 3.9 per cent).
In the year to the June 2015 quarter, prices for newly built houses, excluding land, rose 7.6 per cent in Auckland, and rose 4.0 per cent in Canterbury. Housing rentals rose 2.9 per cent in Auckland, and 3.5 per cent in Canterbury.
The CPI measures the rate of price change of goods and services purchased by NZ households.