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Housing pushes annual inflation rate to 1.9 percent
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  17 October 2017

Consumers Price Index: September 2017 quarter  –  Media Release

The consumers price index (CPI) had an annual increase of 1.9 percent, and rose 0.5 percent from the June 2017 quarter, Stats NZ said today. This comes after 0.0 percent quarterly, and 1.7 percent annual, inflation last quarter. Collectively, housing-related costs had the largest upward contribution in the September 2017 quarter, slightly offset by falls in transport prices.

Increases in housing–related costs

  • Rents rose 0.6 percent in the September 2017 quarter and 2.2 percent in the year.
  • Construction of new dwellings (excluding land) rose 1.1 percent this quarter and 5.4 percent in the year to September.
  • Local authority rates rose 3.5 percent this quarter and 3.7 percent in the year.
  • Dwelling insurance rose 6.1 percent this quarter and 12 percent in the year.

Regionally, rents in Canterbury had a 1.9 percent decrease in the latest year; this is the fifth consecutive annual decrease in rents for the region. The annual increase of 2.6 percent in construction of new dwellings (excluding land) is the lowest annual increase since September 2010, before the Canterbury earthquakes.

Auckland had the lowest annual increases in rent and construction costs since March 2015. In Wellington, construction costs rose 1.4 percent the September 2017 quarter (3.2 percent annually), and rents rose 1.0 percent (3.7 percent annual). This was the largest annual increase in Wellington rents since December 2008.

“Rents and construction costs in Wellington are rising faster than for the rest of the country,” prices senior manager Jason Attewell said. “Annual rents rose by more in Wellington than Auckland, while Christchurch rents fell.”

Decreases in petrol prices, and other transport costs

  • Petrol prices fell 1.7 percent in the September 2017 quarter and increased 4.5 percent in the year.
  • International air fares fell 5.5 percent this quarter and 2.7 percent in the year to September.
  • Vehicle relicensing fees fell 8.0 percent this quarter and 8.0 percent in the year.
  • Prices for second-hand motor cars fell 0.9 percent this quarter and increased 1.8 percent in the year.

“In the latest quarter petrol prices fell 3 cents, to an average of $1.83 a litre, despite rising through August and September,” Mr Attewell said. “Average petrol prices in the CPI differ from what you see at the petrol station, because they take into account supermarket and loyalty card discounts.”

Consumers price index – animation and infographic has more about how the CPI works.

For media enquiries contact: Jason Attewell, Wellington 021 958 006,
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 17 October 2017

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