Thursday, June 13, 2024

Latest CPI figures reveal continuing challenges

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures have been released by Stats NZ, with a 1.7% quarterly increase and an annual increase of 7.3%. 

Finance Minister, Grant Robertson says these inflation figures reflect the volatile and uncertain global environment but that New Zealand was well positioned to respond and help households and businesses through this difficult time.

“Global factors such as the ongoing impacts of the pandemic on supply chains and the war in Ukraine are affecting prices, particularly those for fuel and building materials, and this means demand is not being met, and having a sizeable effect on New Zealand households and businesses,” Minister Robertson said.

“We recognise that this is a tough time for New Zealanders and the rise in the cost of living is making it hard for many. We have taken steps to ease some of that pressure on households, particularly those on lower incomes.”

He said the April 1 income increases were providing support to beneficiaries and low income families, pensioners and students.

The temporary cost of living payment will start next month, supporting 2.1 million New Zealanders over the age of 18 over a three month period.

“We have cut the fuel excise duty and road user charges and halved public transport costs and yesterday we extended the reductions again until the end of January next year to give people certainty over the coming months as prices continue to move around at the pump,” the Minister said.

“We are also focused on what we can do to ensure that New Zealanders are paying a fair price. We are closely monitoring margins in the fuel market to ensure that reductions are being passed on and we have taken action to boost competition in the New Zealand grocery market.

“Most economists believe that this level of inflation represents the peak of this cycle, and this quarter has seen a lower rate than the previous quarter. However, inflation will remain elevated for some time at levels above what has been experienced in recent times. We are well positioned to respond with unemployment at a record low and debt at levels substantially below countries we compare ourselves with and we will continue to support New Zealanders to get through this challenging time,” said Mr Robertson.

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