Buoyant housing sector pushes CPI up in March quarter

Sunday 18 April 2004

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.4 per cent in the March quarter, driven by the buoyant housing market and hikes in construction costs, Statistics New Zealand said today.

By The Landlord

The rise was less than the 0.6 per cent increase forecast by the Reserve Bank and the 0.5 per cent increase picked by economists.

It comes after a rise of 0.7 per cent in the December quarter and 0.5 per cent in the September quarter.

The last quarterly decrease in the CPI was in the March 2001 quarter.

Year on year, the rise was 1.5 per cent, which was below economists' predictions of 1.7 per cent.

Of the nine groups which make up the CPI, five recorded price increases in the three months to March 31.

Statistics NZ said the most significant increase in the CPI components for the March quarter was in the housing group.

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