Rising inflation may force Reserve to keep rates on hold | Australia

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Rising inflation may force Reserve to keep rates on hold

发布时间 21 January 2014, 8:34 AEST
Rebecca Hyam

A leading private sector inflation report shows a surprisingly sharp rise in consumer prices last month.

Fruit and veg at the Adelaide Markets Rising fruit and vegetable prices drove a large part of the inflation increase. (Credit: ABC) 

The TD Securities- Institute Monthly Inflation Gauge rose by 0.7 per cent in December, after minimal increases of 0.2 and 0.1 per cent in the previous two months.

In the year to December, consumer prices were up 2.7 per cent, or 2.9 per cent on the Reserve Bank's preferred trimmed mean measure of the gauge which excludes the most volatile price moves.

Both those readings are well in the upper half of the 's 2 to 3 per cent range for inflation.

However, TD Securities head of Asia-Pacific research Annette Beacher says the hh December reading needs to be viewed with caution, as the month traditionally has hh price rises.

She says a large jump in tobacco prices has also contruted to the increase.

"The Labor government did put in place a change in the timing of excise tax increases on tobacco and so, instead of the usual third quarter, this has popped up in the fourth quarter," Ms Beacher said.

"So that's why we're treating this number with a little bit of caution – some of it being sal and some of it being this one-o excise tax."

Hher fruit, vegetable, petrol and holiday accommodation costs were the other culprits for the inflation increase in December.

Ms Beacher predicts oicial fures, to be released on Wednesday, will show annual inflation in the middle of the Reserve Bank's 2 to 3 per cent range.

She says, if that is the case, the is likely to leave interest rates unchanged.

"I suspect they'll be loo elsewhere for direction on monetary policy, such as house prices, retail sales or maybe what's going on in the US," Ms Beacher added.

On average, analysts expect the Bureau of Statistics fures will show inflation rose by around 0.5 per cent in the December quarter.

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