by Alan Thornhill
Australia’s headline inflation rate has hit 3.6 per cent – but an early rate rise still seems unlikely.
That’s partly because the underlying inflation rate – which the Reserve Bank studies when adjusting rates – is still within the bank’s 2-3 per cent target range.
But even that underlying rate, is accelerating.
It hit 2.7 per cent at the end of the June quarter, compared with 2.3 per cent three months earlier.
The underlying rate, which excludes one off events like the after effects of floods and cyclones, is the one the Reserve Bank board studies when it reviews rates.
Even so, the latest figures, published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, show that inflation is accelerating.
Both the Consumer Price index and the nation’s underlying inflation rate rose by 0.9 per cent in the June quarter.
Those rises were higher than the 0.7 per cent increase, which had been widely expected.
Once again, though, detailed figures produced by the Bureau show that both the floods earlier this year – and Cyclone Yasi – are still having a big impact on the prices Australian families face each week.
Fruit prices, for example, leapt by a massive 26.9 per cent in the June quarter, while petrol prices rose by 4 per cent, hospital and doctors’ bills jumped 3.4 per cent and rents rose 1.1. per cent.
Perhaps oddly, though, vegetable prices fell by 10.3 per cent, audio visual and computer equipment prices fell 6.3 per cent and electricity bills eased by 1.5 per cent.
The Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, noted yesterday that Australian families are still shopping cautiously – and saving more – in the wake of the global financial crisis and financial instability in both Europe and the United States.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Wednesday December 11
The Dow Jones index fell 53 points to 15,973
Acting PM Warren Truss writes to Mike Devereux seeking “a clear statement” on Holden’s future
The Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, says the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook will be released next Tuesday, at the National Press Club.
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|Nat. Bank Fpo||33.200||+0.030||+0.09%|
|Macq Group Fpo||52.550||+0.370||+0.71%|
|Cwlth Bank Fpo||75.070||-0.190||-0.25%|
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