Canberra’s inflation rate has risen by 0.6 per cent in the March quarter this year, with householders paying more for petrol, medical services and child care.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released yesterday show that the national consumer price index rose by 0.5 per cent in the March quarter and by 2.1 per cent in the year to March 31.
This is the first time in two years that the annual inflation rate has crept above two per cent.
Canberra had the third biggest percentage increase over the previous quarter (0.6 per cent), following Melbourne (0.9 per cent) and Hobart (0.8 per cent). There were CPI increases in all capital cities except Darwin (-0.1 per cent) and Perth, which recorded no movement.
The biggest contributor to Canberra’s increased inflation was a rise of 8.5 per cent in automotive fuel costs caused by increases in world oil prices.
The cost of Canberra’s medical and hospital services also played a part, increasing by 2.9 per cent in the quarter. Child care was the third biggest factor, increasing by 2.6 per cent.
These rises were partially offset in Canberra by a 5.6 per cent fall in the cost of fruit, a 4.2 per cent fall in the cost of furniture and a 3.8 per cent reduction in the cost of international holiday travel and accommodation.
Australia’s inflation rate of 2.1 per cent in the year to March is within the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target band of 2-3 per cent. However, economists predict that it is unlikely to lead to an increase in official interest rates because of the softness in underlying inflation.