The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.6% in the June 2019 quarter, due to higher prices for petrol & rent, Statistics NZ said today.
The inflation rate for the year to June was 1.7%, up from 1.5% in the March 2019 year.
Rent prices rose 1% in the June 2019 quarter, and 2.5% over the year.
Construction price rises slowed, up 0.7% for the second quarter in a row, reducing the annual increase to 3.5%, the lowest it’s been since the March 2013 quarter.
Petrol prices rose 5.8% in the June quarter after a 7% fall in the March quarter. The average price of 91 octane petrol was $2.13/litre in the June quarter, up from $2.01 in the March quarter, but still under its peak of $2.18 in the September 2018 quarter.
Prices senior manager Paul Pascoe said: “By the last week of June, the petrol pump price was 2% lower than the June quarter average.”
While the petrol price rise was the largest contributor to quarterly inflation, many other transport items fell. Price falls for second-hand cars, and seasonal falls for domestic air fares & rental cars, offset the petrol price rise.
Used car prices fell 3.9% in the June 2019 quarter, compared with a 3.3% fall in the same quarter last year. This quarter’s prices were the lowest since the December 2015 quarter.
Domestic air fares are usually cheaper in June quarters. This quarter they fell 13% compared with 12% in June last year. Domestic air fares have been falling steadily since 2015 – this quarter’s were the cheapest since December 2010.
Statisticians ditch landlord samples
The latest quarterly rise in rents, 1%, was the largest since the March 2008 quarter, when rent prices rose 1.2%. Auckland rose 0.6% quarterly & 2%/year.
Statistics NZ has changed the way it measures rents, ditching the survey of all landlords in favour of measuring all tenancy bonds lodged. “Samples tend to get less representative the longer they are used, while our new method captures all tenancies, not just a sample,” Mr Pascoe said.
The statisticians went back over the last 12 years, to the December 2012 quarter, and said the index constructed from tenancy bond data rose 42.8% compared to 29.7% for the survey data measure. The effect on the whole consumers price index was a 26% rise using the new method compared to 25% using survey data, or an average 0.06%/year difference.
Attribution: Statistics NZ release.