Economy

New Zealand Dollar Gains on CPI Beat, But Excitement Fizzles

Actual rentals for housing rose 0.6 per cent in the quarter and were up 2.2 per cent on the year.

Despite annual growth in the cost of new housing falling from June, above-5% growth in nationwide prices kept the upward pressure heaped on, along with food price rises. Household energy, which includes electricity, gas and solid fuels rose a quarterly 0.3 per cent and an annual 1.7 per cent. Meanwhile, dwelling insurance was up a whopping 12% annually, following a 6.1% quarterly rise in September.

The Reserve Bank is mandated with keeping annual inflation between 1-and-3 per cent, with a focus on the mid-point. Prices for second-hand motor cars fell 0.9 percent this quarter and increased 1.8 percent in the year.

The September reading may also be a bitter-sweet farewell for just-retired governor Graeme Wheeler. The RBNZ said in August that it expects price growth to weaken in the fourth quarter and to fall below an annual rate of 1% in early 2018, which combined with below-forecast economic growth, suggests no change in policy for some time to come. 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.

Tonight's GlobalDairyTrade auction will be closely watched after the last auction two weeks ago saw whole milk powder fall 2.7 percent and the GDT price index drop 2.4 percent. It was the largest increase in Wellington rents since December 2008.

Figures this morning are expected to show inflation was 0.4 percent in the third quarter, after a flat second quarter, for an annual pace of 1.8 percent.

The CPI grew 1.9 percent on an annual basis, according to figures from Statistics New Zealand, beating analysts' expectations for a 1.8 percent rise.

Local authority rates rose 3.5 percent this quarter and 3.7 percent in the year. Transport prices were up 2.0%, influenced by higher prices for petrol - up 4.5% over the year (although petrol prices fell 1.7% during the September quarter).

Communication prices decreased 5.3 percent, with telecommunications services down 4.5 percent and equipment down 22 percent.

Global air fares fell 5.5 percent this quarter and 2.7 percent in the year to September.

The tradables CPI, which includes goods and services that compete with worldwide rivals, rose 0.2 per cent in the quarter and was up 1 per cent for the year.



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