CPI outperforms market expectation, up 0.9%

CPI outperforms market expectation, up 0.9%
CPI outperforms market expectation, up 0.9%

The consumer price index (CPI) beat its market expectation over the quarter and rose 0.9 per cent, according to figures released by the ABS.

Over the 12 months to December, CPI rose 0.9 per cent. The RBA have indicated that they want CPI between two to three per cent for a steady period before lifting interest rates, among other key metrics such as unemployment.

Commsec's Craig James says inflation is likely to remain below, or near the bottom, of the Reserve Bank’s 2-3 per cent target band for most of 2021.

"As a result the Reserve Bank has committed to not increasing the cash rate for three years."

The December quarter inflation rise follows a 0.7 per cent increase in the September quarter and a 0.3 per cent fall in the June quarter.

Michelle Marquardt, head of prices statistics at the ABS, said the December quarter CPI was primarily impacted by an increase in tobacco excise and the introduction, continuation and conclusion of a number of government schemes, including childcare fee subsidies and home building grants.

Prices rose in the purchase of new dwellings (0.7 per cent) following increased demand. 

"The rise in demand for new dwellings is reflected in higher building approvals for houses and a record value for housing loan commitments in November," Marquardt said.

"The December quarter rise of 0.7 per cent in the purchase price of new dwellings would have been higher, but was partially offset by the Federal government's $25,000 HomeBuilder grant, and similar $20,000 grants by the Western Australian (WA) and Tasmanian state governments."

Westpac's Justin Smirk did suggest holding back the rise in the CPI is the WA $600 Household Electricity Credit, as well as the Federal Government Homebuilder Grants supplemented in WA and Tasmania by state grants.

Westpac had been forecasting a 0.7 per cent lift in the CPI which would have held the annual rate steady at 0.7 per cent.



Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and new developments across the country


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