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CPI rises 0.3 percent in June quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  17 July 2012

Consumers Price Index: June 2012 quarter  –  Media Release

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent for the June 2012 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today.

“The increase in the CPI reflects higher electricity prices and seasonally higher vegetable prices, partly offset by lower prices for things such as telecommunication services,” prices manager Chris Pike said.

Electricity prices rose 4.5 percent in the June 2012 quarter. Prices had fallen a total of 0.7 percent over the previous three quarters, due to customers switching suppliers and bigger prompt-payment discounts. Electricity prices are now 3.7 percent higher than their previous peak in the June 2011 quarter.

Vegetable prices (up 11 percent) were the second-biggest contributor. The rise reflects seasonal rises in tomato prices, which almost doubled from $3.70 to $7.30 a kg. Lettuce prices (up 44 percent) also rose.

Other upward contributors to the CPI in the June 2012 quarter were: beer (up 2.7 percent), rentals for housing (up 0.5 percent), purchase of new housing (up 0.9 percent), international air fares (up 2.4 percent), overseas package holidays (up 2.8 percent), and petrol (up 0.4 percent).

The main downward contribution in the June 2012 quarter was lower prices for telecommunication services (down 2.5 percent), which reflected increased broadband data caps and better-value cellphone services. Fresh milk (down 4.6 percent), fruit (down 3.2 percent), audio-visual equipment (down 3.6 percent), and second-hand cars (down 1.0 percent) also had lower prices.

The CPI increased 1.0 percent in the year to the June 2012 quarter, which is the smallest annual movement since a 0.5 percent increase for the year to the December 1999 quarter. Higher prices for cigarettes and tobacco (up 13 percent) and rentals for housing (up 2.3 percent) made the most significant upward contributions. The increase in cigarette and tobacco prices reflects a 14.49 percent rise in excise duty on 1 January 2012.

Lower prices for telecommunication services (down 9.1 percent), audio-visual equipment (down 19 percent), international air fares (down 5.3 percent), and vegetables (down 5.1 percent) made the most significant downward contributions for the year.

The CPI measures the rate of price change of goods and services purchased by New Zealand households. Statistics NZ visits 3,000 shops across New Zealand to collect prices for the CPI and check product sizes and features.

Geoff Bascand 17 July 2012
Government Statistician


For media enquiries contact:
Chris Pike
Wellington 04 931 4600

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