Inflation hits 30-year high

Inflation has jumped again, though at a slightly lower rate than forecast.

Thursday, April 21st 2022, 3:40PM

by Eric Frykberg

Stats NZ says the Consumers Price Index for the March quarter rose sharply, by 1.8%. This pushed the annual rate of price growth to 6.9%

Higher petrol prices are among several factors pushing this increase.

The new figures are slightly lower than forecasts from a range of bank economists who said annual inflation would be 7% and above.

The latest rise follows an annual jump of 5.9% for the December quarter.

These trends could bring tight trading conditions for brokers, since high inflation will bring high interest rates, which could make it hard for many would-be borrowers to get over the line.

In explaining the latest rise, Stats NZ said this was the highest rise since June 1990.

It said the main driver for the rise was the housing and household utilities group, influenced by rising prices for construction and rentals for housing.

Prices for the construction of new dwellings increased 18 percent in the year to March, which was the largest such rise since 1985.

The next largest contribution to annual inflation was from the transport group, influenced by higher prices for petrol and second-hand cars.

Petrol prices increased 32 percent in the year to the March 2022 quarter, which was also the largest annual increase since 1985. 

The price of a litre of petrol increased steadily over January and February. In the second week of March the average price of 91 petrol at the pump was $3.05.

Prices then dropped following a decrease of 25 cents per litre in fuel excise duty.

Tags: inflation

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