Year-on-year, cost of housing increased by 1.6 percent in the September quarter, slower than a 3.1 percent rise in the prior quarter, mainly driven by new dwelling purchase by owner-occupiers (2 percent vs 2.7 percent) and utilities (1.9 percent vs 8 percent). Also, cost advanced at a softer rate for: alcoholic and tobacco (6.8 percent vs 7.8 percent in the June quarter); health (3.2 percent vs 3.4 percent); and insurance and financial services (1.4 percent vs 1.5 percent). In addition, cost fell further for: furnishings, household equipment and services (-2 percent vs -0.5 percent); and communication (-4.3 percent vs -4.2 percent).
On the other hand, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 1.6 percent, faster than a 0.3 percent rise in the second quarter. It was the highest food inflation since the June quarter 2017, largely due to fruits and vegetables (5 percent vs -3.2 percent), bread and cereal products (0.2 percent vs -0.8 percent), and meat and seafood (1.4 percent vs 1.1 percent). Meanwhile, cost of transport went up at a higher 6 percent, after a 5.2 percent gain in the previous period, mostly due to automotive fuels (20.8 percent vs 16.3 percent). At the same time, cost advanced faster for recreation and culture (1.2 percent vs 0.8 percent); and education (2.8 percent vs 2.7 percent), while declined less for clothing and footwear (-0.8 percent vs -2 percent).
RBA Trimmed Mean CPI rose 1.8 percent year-on-year, compared to a 1.9 percent gain in the second quarter and slightly below expectations of 1.9 percent. Quarter-on-quarter, the index increased by 0.4 percent, easing from a 0.5 percent rise in the prior three months and matching estimates. RBA Weighted Mean CPI went up 1.7 percent year-on-year in the three months to September, following a 1.9 percent rise in the June quarter and below forecasts of 1.9 percent.
On a quarterly basis, consumer prices went up 0.4 percent, the same as in the June quarter and matching market consensus. The most significant price rises were international holiday travel and accommodation (4.3 percent), domestic holiday travel and accommodation (2.4 percent), tobacco (1.8 percent) and automotive fuel (1.4 percent). The rise was partially offset by falls in child care (-11.8 percent) and telecommunications equipment and services (-1.5 percent).