Annual inflation hits 3.6 per cent

June 18, 2024 BY

THE latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed the monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 3.6 per cent in the 12 months to April 2024, with significant contributions from housing, food, and transport costs.

ABS head of prices statistics Michelle Marquardt noted the stability in inflation over recent months.

“Annual inflation increased to 3.6 per cent this month, up from 3.5 per cent in March,” Ms Marquardt said.

The most significant contributors to the annual rise in April were housing (+4.9 per cent), food and non-alcoholic beverages (+3.8 per cent), alcohol and tobacco (+6.5 per cent), and transport (+4.2 per cent).

“CPI inflation is often impacted by items with volatile price changes like automotive fuel, fruit and vegetables and holiday travel,” Ms Marquardt said.

“It can be helpful to exclude these items from the headline CPI to provide a view of underlying inflation.

“When excluding these volatile items from the monthly CPI indicator, the annual rise to April was steady at 4.1 per cent.”

Housing costs rose 4.9 per cent in the 12 months to April, down from 5.2 per cent in March.

Rents increased 7.5 per cent for the year, reflecting a tight rental market and low vacancy rates nationwide.

New dwelling prices rose 4.9 per cent as builders passed higher costs for labour and materials onto consumers.

Electricity prices increased 4.2 per cent over the year, although rebates from the Energy Bill Relief Fund helped mitigate some of these costs.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages experienced a rise of 3.8 per cent in April, up from 3.5 per cent in March, with fruit and vegetable prices recording their largest annual increase since April 2023.

Transport costs rose 4.2 per cent, mainly due to higher fuel prices, which increased 7.4 per cent in the 12 months to April.

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