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CPI eases to 4.9 per cent in October

The latest consumer data shows inflation at 4.9 per cent for the year to October. (Nikki Short/AAP PHOTOS)

By Poppy Johnston in Canberra

THE monthly consumer price index rose 4.9 per cent over the 12 months to October, undershooting expectations and down from the 5.6 per cent increase in September.

Expectations were for a 5.2 per cent annual lift through to October in the Australian Bureau of Statistics monthly report on inflation.

Housing, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and transport were the biggest contributors to the annual growth.

Acting ABS head of prices statistics Leigh Merrington said the indicator had also softened when volatile items such as automotive fuel, fruit and vegetables and holiday travel were stripped out.

“When excluding these volatile items from the monthly CPI indicator, the annual rise in October is 5.1 per cent, lower than the annual rise of 5.5 per cent in September,” Mr Merrington said.

The monthly consumer index is not as comprehensive as the quarterly update and the October edition was skewed towards price changes across goods.

However it will still contain kernels of information for the Reserve Bank as it monitors price pressures in Australia.

The central bank has been lifting interest rates to combat inflation and hiked them by another 25 basis points in November after several months on hold.

The inflation data followed a weaker-than-expected retail data report for October, with sales down 0.2 per cent over the month.

 

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