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Statistics New Zealand says the Consumers Price Index rose 0.8% in the March quarter, giving annual inflation of 1.5%; result in line with market forecasts, though lower than the Reserve Bank expected

Statistics New Zealand says the Consumers Price Index rose 0.8% in the March quarter, giving annual inflation of 1.5%; result in line with market forecasts, though lower than the Reserve Bank expected

The Consumers Price Index rose 0.8% in the March quarter, giving annual inflation of 1.5%, according to Statistics New Zealand.

The result is dead in line with market forecasts, though lower than the Reserve Bank expected, with its forecast of a 1% rise in the March quarter and 1.7% annual inflation. Remember, the RBNZ aims for annual inflation within 1% to 3%,  with an explicit target of 2%.

In the December 2020 quarter, the CPI rose 0.5%, giving an annual inflation rate of 1.4%.

As expected, higher fuel and transport costs led the increases in the March quarter, while housing related costs also contributed strongly.

The impact of disruption to the supply of goods due to the global pandemic was also apparent, although perhaps not to the extent that might have been expected.

Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr said there was nothing in the inflation report that the RBNZ would be surprised by, or even react to.

"They need to see how inflation is tracking this time next year, after the supply disruptions have washed through. Bottlenecks at our ports will eventually be addressed," Kerr said.

"Strip away the volatility and core inflation remains subdued, easing from 2.1% to 2.0%. The economy is not yet strong enough to generate a sustained lift in prices. When setting monetary policy, central banks look to the medium term, and try to look through temporary shocks and disruption."

Market reaction to the figures was muted.             

Stats NZ said "prices for getting around" rose, with transport prices rising 3.9% in the quarter, the biggest quarterly rise in over a decade.

Petrol prices rose 7.2%, the biggest quarterly rise since June 2015. Despite this, however, petrol prices are 3.8% lower than they were a year ago, Stats NZ's prices senior manager Aaron Beck said.

The price of buying a car also rose over the quarter. Used car prices rose 4.4%, following a similar 4.6% rise in the December 2020 quarter. Annually it is the highest annual increase in used car prices since 2012.

“There have been many delays with imports of goods into New Zealand. This may have resulted in fewer cars available for sale,” Beck said.

And housing costs rose in line with the fast rising housing market. (Remember buying and selling of existing houses is not included in the CPI.)

Rent prices rose 1.0% in the March quarter, the biggest quarterly increase in a year. Annual rent prices increased 2.7%.

The cost of building a new house also rose in the March quarter, up 1.2%.

“Reported shortages of many building products such as timber and house fittings and furnishings, as well as higher labour costs likely contributed to the movement,” Beck said.

The price of building a new home increased 3.5% in the year to March 2021, the biggest annual increase since June 2019. However, this is less than half of what it was when it peaked at almost 9% in 2004.

Tobacco prices have been one of the main drivers of non-tradable inflation over recent years. For four years, the annual tobacco excise tax increase was 10% in addition to the CPI (all groups less credit services for the year to 30 September). However, the large annual excise increases have come to an end, and so the annual increase on 1 January 2021 was only from the all groups CPI less credit services for the year to 30 September 2020.

Some highlights of the March quarter figures included:

  • Transport rose 3.9%, influenced by higher prices for private transport supplies and services (up 4.9%) and purchase of vehicles (up 2.6%).
  • Housing and household utilities rose 0.9%, influenced by actual rentals for housing (up 1.0%) and home ownership (1.2%).
  • Alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose 1.6%, influenced by higher prices for cigarettes and tobacco (up 2.7%).
  • Food rose 0.6%, influenced by grocery food (up 0.9%) and restaurant meals and ready to eat foods (up 0.9%).

Consumer prices index

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60 Comments

29
up

1.4% Dream on.

Not surprised to see that housing costs are a prime culprit.

Cars are a waste of money anyway (new or used). Suggest you hang onto your old banger.

TTP

There's a tremendous amount of 'cost push' inflation coming down the pipe. Businesses can only absorb it for so long before they have to start passing it on. #InflationIsComing

27
up

Nothing to see people, move along. Least regrets always, FLP to the moon!

I actually can’t believe it’s 1.5% something doesn’t add up.

My salary went up less than 2% expenses went up 6%. As long as property investors are protected, Orr will sleep well as he is one of them himself.

21
up

Cheaper snacks, clothing, phones, internet and computers 'offset' the higher costs of stocking the fridge with healthy items, driving to work, buying and maintaining your home, and education and healthcare services.

Feed chippies and Coke to your kids, layer them up with more clothes to keep them warm and educate them at home with YouTube videos. The quality of life of millions shouldn't come in the way of higher returns of a few thousand speculators.

10
up

This is actually very true, we used to visit our local markets and get locally grown produce, support the local stalls in the markets. Now I’m scanning online shops to see if cauliflower is 50c cheaper or potato is a dollar cheaper per kilo and go straight there instead. This affects everyone including your local small businesses. Mental health at the same time is deteriorating. Let everyone feel the pain while a select few line their pockets.

@Advisor, indeed highest home prices in the world, poorest home quality in the world. But our islands have that quality of life aye.

I agree - 1.5% doesn't seem right as my rates have gone through the roof, also electricity, petrol and don't get me started on groceties.

20
up

I struggle with grocery food only increasing 0.9%. My grocery bill has risen by more than that in the last year, and we are not buying more or different items.

15
up

Seconded. We've found ourselves cutting back and buying a brand down to compensate. Finding 0.9%+ unbelievable.

16
up

Just speaking to my wife, we reckon prices for groceries are up by at least 5%.
Obviously some items haven't risen in price, which mitigates a little, but plenty have.
I also find 0.9% unbelievable.

If you make the decision to shop at C/down or online you are choosing to pay more than you need to

Yeah, we are trying to shop at pak n save as much as we can, shop right and I reckon you can save around 15% relative to Countdown

12
up

No way in hell grocery and meat prices are lower than what they were a year ago (-0.3% and -2.3% respectively).

11
up

Agree - this is suspect.

Maybe they're swapping in dry noodles for just about everything. Probably all Auckland mortgage payers can afford.

16
up

Go to the oligopolies of Foodstuffs and Woolies (Countdown) - my weekly groceries are substantially up on an annual basis. My guess is the CPI basket of goods is weighted towards household expenses that have decreased. Another example of cherry picking data to bolster the narrative.

I agree. As a fairly new retiree, I find myself taking note of grocery prices in the various stores - something I used to make fun of elderly people doing (before I got old myself). What I am noticing is that a number of major stores are reducing the price of chips, cokes, etc (to use as loss leaders), but the healthy items or what I would call 'stock' items, have gone up in price considerably.

Wife uses Pak N Save online ordering. Pulled up an order from 12 months ago and comparing prices for the identical items to today, each of the todays prices are "Everyday Low":

Bobby Bananas - $3.89 now $3.49
Pork Mince, Chicken, Carrots, Apples - No change
Prime Mince - $17.49 kg now $16.99
Lettuce - $1.99 now $2.99
Bread - $3.19 now $3.29
Anchor A2 2L - $6.42 now $6.47
Nappies - $16.99 now $15.99
Cat Biscuits - $7.75 now $8.49

Get rid of the cat

Ugh! Wife just bought a Kitten too!!!!!!

Will need to do an average price comparison across a quarter. For instance I only buy nappies when on special. Same with pet food, get more of them when on special. So will need to see if something you bought a year ago vs the same now and what specials were happening on that week.

True. However, all the current prices are Pak N Save's "everyday low" price, not the "extra low" price which indicates a special.

I cannot tell if the prices from last year were a special. If they were on special, and today's prices aren't a special, then that could indicate grocery prices have potentially gone backwards, which I doubt is the case.

Inflation at 1.5% and term deposits at 0.8%. We are certainly being ripped off even before tax!!
Until the cost of a house is included the CPI is completely irrelevant. If houses were included the figure would be double

No the figure would be quadruple plus. The way the housing market has increased now for decades is the reason its not included. Currently we would have Hyperinflation if house price increases over the last 3 months were factored in. How can you possibly manage an economy if your not using the right variables in the calculation ? May as well just put your head in the sand.

Do people buy the official reason it is excluded ie. It's not a consumption good.
Or do people think that's a crock, a cynical ploy to pump the housing ponzi.

Land was removed in 1999, wasn't it?

Jolly convenient for all those in government and reserve banking who got in when it was cheap back then.

MStatistics New Zealand says the Consumers Price Index rose 0.8% in the March quarter, giving annual inflation of 1.5%;
And one year bank deposit rates are?

Dec 19 annual inflation at 1.9% falls to 1.5% as of Mar 21 while RBNZ balance sheet blows up from $24.599bn to $82.972bn over the same period.

33
up

Commodity prices over last year...
Lumber: +265%
WTI Crude: +210%
Gasoline: +182%
Brent Crude +163%
Heating Oil: +107%
Corn: +84%
Copper: +83%
Soybeans: +72%
Silver: +65%
Sugar: +59%
Cotton: +54%
Platinum: +52%
Natural Gas: +43%
Palladium: +32%
Wheat: +19%
Coffee: +13%
Gold: +3%

RBNZ: InfLatION is oNE pOinT FiVE peRCeNt

Let's end the CPI eh?

Add Bitcoin as a store of value:
1 year change +676.25%
https://coin.dance/stats

Save in the money that earns you more purchasing power over time.

Interestingly I pulled that list from a Michael Saylor tweet. Hodl on bros.

22
up

"Remember, the RBNZ aims for annual inflation within 1% to 3%, with an explicit target of 2%".

Why?

Every business tries to be more efficient and deliver better products at lower prices.

Yet the RBNZ has an 'aim' to make us pay more for stuff.

Time these thieves were locked away.

Off with their heads.

18
up

Cleverly
Paraded
Inanities

22
up

"And housing costs rose in line with the fast rising housing market. (Remember buying and selling of existing houses is not included in the CPI."

If they include buying and selling of the house, Mr Orr will not be able to hide behind such data and inflation in real term would be and is in double digit.

This data is to suit reserve bank narrative and manipulate with econimy.

Orr Is just a puppet for the US puppet. We have no control of any financial decisions. Amazing how they try to have us believe they do.

Yep. Fed rules. Five Eyes. Access to Swift. Do what you are told.

At least we get to vote for who tells us what to do.

15
up

Is the contents of the nonsense basket-of-goods used to calculate the CPI published anywhere?

I'd love to see what's in the grocery shopping bag and what has changed.

I smell bullshit.

https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/consumers-price-index-mar...

Download the XML spreadsheet published and go to tab 9 for the expenditure weights by group, subgroup, or class .

Thanks - I just had a quick look through. Sheet 5 is interesting (2017 vs 2020). Interesting to see how the weighting has shifted.

There's enormous scope for massaging figures here and limited detail on how the prices are calculated. "Meat and poultry" - have we swapped steak for offal?! Perhaps I've missed that, it's a relatively complicated dataset.

If it looks like Bullshit and smells like Bullshit. It is Bullshit. and we are all getting a daily does from this Govt

10
up

Cool. When will tax brackets be adjusted 1.5%?

Wow 1.4% only? The situation is much more worse off than we thought! Time to lower interest rates further to stimulate the economy! That's all we do anyways right?

Do you really expect anything else from Stats NZ? Same outfit that said unemployment rate went down after COVID

According to Stats NZ if you are unemployed but not actively looking for a job, then.. you're not unemployed.

Have not noticed a change in woollies or pak n slave prices even for dairy products. I pop in there nearly every day...nup, nothing. Seems like some are wishing inflation into existance. Temporary price jumps due to supply bottlenecks aside. The only 'items' that have been inflating have windows and a roof

10
up

I predict it will blow well clear of 5% over the next 12 months., even with the meaningless cpi calculation. Ill be putting up all my prices 5 - 15% over the next 3 months, most importers I know are doing the same or higher. Freight and raw material costs are out of the park. The only thing that will save them is a lack of supply of consumer goods.

Senior manager at my work think 15% across board for us. Ouch. Something has to give.

A 52inch sony TV swapped for a Veon with the same features a few years later. Steak swapped for some weak substitute due to "changing habits" (code for people are skint). 2016 iPhone can be replaced with some $99 device from the warehouse on specs alone.

These CPI figures are garbage.

"Food rose 0.6%, influenced by grocery food (up 0.9%) and restaurant meals and ready to eat foods (up 0.9%)."

Love to know how the make-up of this is worked out. Food at the supermarket going up 0.9% of a massive weekly shopping bill is more of a hit than a restaurant meal going up by 0.9%, which I might get once a month if that.

Data, does it have any meaning to average person where it says that inflation is just 1.5% but reality is......... As it is, be it reserve bank, polticians or bureaucrats, they all do what they want to do based on the script decided much before any data is released ( not to forget that data paramers are also set by them - including what make them comfortable and can be manipulated and rxclude that....)

Once the data is released, they spin and manipulate to suit their premeditated agenda for vested and biased interest.

By error, Mr Orr spelt out their mindset as to when they follow 'least regret' policy and when to delay or avoid to follow 'wait and watch' policy as is correctly been highlighted by many in media and social network.

Double standard stand exposed. When had fear that house price may fall or growth may slow (was not happening but just a thought/fear that house price may fall) acted overnight to promote and threw everything to not only support but promote housing ponzi by folowing least regret concept AND now when it is not just a thought but is actually happening that house prices are touching new height on a weekly basis and as they do not want to act (as in favour and happy with the ponzi) are following wait and watch concept.

Ageing populations, gig economy, international online shopping, changing diets, labour costs exported to developing nations. Hard to get past that. Deflation is much more likely in my view.

Are we going to have to continue to expand money supply at this rate in order to hit 1-3% consumer price inflation. That isn't sustainable...

Everyone will be on welfare, not just current beneficiaries, old folks and property investors.

Personally I don't feel like CPI only rose 0.8% for the last three months. It should be at least 1.5% increase. This better to be legitimate. They will be fool if they try to play with data. You can't hide the truth forever.

Are we going to have to continue to expand money supply by 10-20% p.a. to hit our 1-3% CPI target?

Sounds like a good idea (not!)

Looks like we missed the target by 50bps.

Good to see that RBNZ stick to data driven policies rather than listening to doomsday inflation noises from the AstroTurfing corridors.

If your savings and investments are not outpacing the rate of monetary expansion (25% for the USA) then you are loosing purchasing power.
When a currency is losing value, the price of hard assets such as the stock market, real-estate, fine art etc appear to go up significantly when denominated in that currency.

Everyone knows the base rate has been 7-10% in real living costs increases rather than 2% as we are told.
And the CPI is just day to day living costs. The goods and services that we are striving for are going up at 15-20% a year, but of course they are not included in the CPI..........

Your not always loosing purchasing power, it depends on what it is your purchasing. Technology items have only got cheaper and so have cars if you consider what your now getting for your money. I bought a new motorbike a couple of years ago, its twice the bike it was in 1987 and 25% cheaper now. Of course if your saving for a house your money is turning into toilet paper. It all depends on what stage of life your in.

Oh sure....inflation is reported by a government agency as 1.5%.
Meanwhile the average house price is reported to have increased by more than $40,000 in just one month and banks are predicting 23% gains in 2021.
When will we demand that our government stops pulling the wool over our eyes?