Quarterly inflation rising steadily across board

Higher prices for transport and food have driven up inflation for the all households group in the June 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

The ‘all households group’ represents all private New Zealand-resident households.

Inflation for the all households group, as measured by the household living-costs price indexes (HLPIs), increased by 1.1 percent in the June 2021 quarter. Each quarter, the HLPIs calculate how inflation affects 13 different groups, while the consumers price index calculates how inflation affects New Zealand as a whole. In the June 2021 quarter, all 13 groups experienced inflation of between 1.0 and 1.2 percent.

Transport prices were up 2.8 percent for the all households group in the June 2021 quarter, mainly influenced by higher petrol prices. This affected low- to middle-spending groups the most. Transport prices were up 3.1 percent for the lowest-spending group compared with 2.3 percent for the highest-spending group.

“Low- to middle-spending groups typically spend a larger proportion of their expenditure on petrol and public transport” consumers prices manager Matthew Stansfield said.

Food prices were up 1.5 percent for the all households group in the June 2021 quarter, mainly influenced by higher prices for vegetables.

Quarterly inflation up for Māori households

Quarterly inflation was up 1.0 percent for Māori households in the June 2021 quarter, mainly influenced by rising prices for transport (up 3.0 percent), housing and household utilities (up 0.9 percent), and food (up 1.3 percent).

“Higher prices for petrol, rent, and vegetables drove up inflation for Māori households, and were also large drivers in many other household groups,” Mr Stansfield said.

Rising rents key contributor to beneficiary household annual inflation

Annual inflation for beneficiaries increased most out of all the groups, increasing 3.0 percent in the year ended June 2021, mainly influenced by higher prices for housing and household utilities.

Household groupActual rentals for housingInterest payments
Beneficiaries29.72.7
Māori18.96.2
Expenditure quantile 1 (lowest-expenditure households)18.12.5
All households13.45.8
Superannuitant71.3
Expenditure quantile 5 (highest-expenditure households)4.99.1

“On average, beneficiary households spend almost a third of their income on rent, so rising rents have a bigger impact on beneficiary households than for the other household groups,” Mr Stansfield said.

Transport drives annual inflation following COVID-19 low

Annual inflation for the all households group was up 2.5 percent in the year to June 2021, the largest annual increase since September 2011. This increase was mainly influenced by higher prices for private transport supplies and services, and actual rentals for housing.

“A year ago, in the June 2020 quarter, we saw lower petrol prices and also many public transport services being free around the country during the COVID-19 lockdown,” Mr Stansfield said.

Transport prices have increased 11 percent for the all households group, while transport prices for the highest-spending households increased 8.6 percent compared with 12 percent for the lowest-spending households.

The most recent consumers price index calculated annual inflation to be 3.3 percent compared with 2.5 percent for the all households group in the HLPIs. These calculations differ in the treatment of housing. CPI captures the cost of building a new home while HLPI captures mortgage interest payments. The CPI is primarily used for monetary policy, while HLPI measures cost of living. In the HLPIs, mortgage interest payments decreased 7.7 percent for the all households group in the year to June 2021.

/Stats NZ Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.