23/10/2007 - 22:00

Petrol, fruit push CPI rise

23/10/2007 - 22:00

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Western Australia’s inflation rate continues to lead the nation, despite growing at a slower rate in recent quarters.

Petrol, fruit push CPI rise

Western Australia’s inflation rate continues to lead the nation, despite growing at a slower rate in recent quarters.

Rising housing costs, as well as a growth in petrol and fruit prices, drove Perth’s consumer price index up 4.0 per cent in 2006-07. According to the Department of Treasury and Finance, the state’s inflation rate reached a recent peak of 4.8 per cent through the year to September 2006, while nationally inflation has moderated after peaking at 4 per cent in the year to June 2006.

All CPI groups recorded an increase from last year, with the exception of clothing and footwear.

In the June quarter 2007, Perth’s CPI increased by 1.4 per cent, putting it above the national average rate of growth for the 13th consecutive quarter.

The main contributors to the CPI growth during the June quarter were transportation, driven by a rise in automotive fuel, food, in particular due to price rises in fruit and vegetables, and housing, with the continued rises in rental prices and increases in costs associated with house purchases.

The only category to detract from growth in Perth consumer prices over the quarter was the recreation sector.

Housing was the biggest contributor to the growth in Perth’s CPI during the past year.

Perth’s median house price rose 7.4 per cent in 2006-07, reaching a peak of $465,000 in the March quarter.

After experiencing a fall of 3.8 per cent in the June quarter, the first fall recorded since the September quarter 2004, the median house price recovered in the September quarter, climbing 2.4 per cent to reach $460,000. The Real Estate Institute of Australia is tipping further rises by the end of the year. 

Perth is now the second most expensive capital city in Australia for buying a home, trailing Sydney’s median house price of about $530,000.

Perth’s rental market also continued to trend upward, with the median rent up 3.4 per cent in the September quarter to $300 per week.

Petrol prices tapered off in the September 2007 quarter, down to $1.23 per litre compared with the June quarter average of $1.299/L. Petrol prices have come down significantly from the high of $1.35 reached in the June quarter 2006, but hasn’t dropped below $1/L since the December quarter 2004.

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