Stats NZ reports:
The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.1 percent in the December 2013 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher international air fares and rising housing and dairy prices were partly countered by lower vegetable prices and cheaper petrol.
International air fares rose 12 percent in the December 2013 quarter – the highest quarterly rise since the December 2009 quarter. “International air fares usually rise in December quarters. This quarter’s rise reflects seasonally higher air fares to Asia and Europe,” prices manager Chris Pike said. Package holiday prices (up 7.3 percent) also showed a seasonal rise.
Prices for housing and household utilities (up 0.5 percent) also rose, reflecting higher prices for property maintenance, purchase of newly built houses, and rentals for housing.
Annual inflation is 1.6%which is higher than I like it (I believe in aiming for 1%) but under the midpoint of the 1% to 3% range.
I prefer to look at the long-term series. Here are some comparisons of average annual price increases over the last five years (Dec 08 to Dec 13) compared to the previous five years (Dec 03 to Dec 08).
- Electricity 3.9% compared to 7.8%
- Household Energy 3.6% compared to 10.0%
- Food 1.7% compared to 3.4%
- Fruit & Vegetables 0.6% compared to 6.4%
- Rental Housing 1.9% compared to 3.6%
- Home Ownership 2.9% compared to 8.0%
Labour are very good at claiming they will lower food prices, electricity prices and housing costs – but their track record speaks for itself. Last election they campaigned to remove GST on fruit and vegetables. Well under the last five years of Labour they increased by 32%, and under five years of National just 3%.