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ABS: CPI data shows that headline inflation increased in the year to April


Headline inflation rose to 6.8 percent in the 12 months to April, new figures show.

The latter figure is higher than the annual increase of 6.3 percent reported in March, but below the December high of 8.4 percent.

The main contributors to the increase were housing, food, transportation, and recreation and culture.

Housing rose 8.9 percent over the past year, but has fallen below the 9.5 percent increase recorded in the year to March.

But beyond the headline numbers, the underlying numbers are less of a concern as the ABS confirms that when “volatile” factors such as fuel, fruits and vegetables and holiday travel are removed, inflation actually falls from 6.9 percent in March to 6.5 percent .

Michelle Marquard, head of price statistics at the ABS, said it can be “helpful to exclude items with volatile price changes from the overall CPI to get a sense of underlying inflation.”

The underlying trends are of paramount importance to the Reserve Bank, which will use the numbers to consider whether to pause or raise interest rates when the board meets next week.

Elsewhere, rents rose from an annual increase of 5.3 percent in March to 6.1 percent in April in a tight rental market.

Ms Marquardt said prices of food and alcoholic drinks remained high but had fallen slightly from 8.1 per cent in March to 7.9 per cent in April.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.