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Falling fuel costs keep lid on inflation

Fuel boost: Gasoline prices hit their lowest level since February 2011 in November

Plunging fuel costs limited the rise in the cost of living in November, according to Government statistics released today.

The Consumer Price Index measured the annual rate of inflation at 2.3 per cent, down from 2.6 per cent in October.

The main inflation driver was the health and personal care sector, in which prices were 7.4 per cent higher than in November 2013.

The transport and vehicle sector recorded a 0.6 per cent year-over-year increase, but it would have been much more had fuel prices not plunged in November, driven down by the global collapse in crude oil prices.

Gasoline prices hit their lowest level since February 2011 and fell 4.3 per cent in November compared to the month before. The cost of foreign travel dipped 9.9 per cent and overseas hotel accommodation slid a remarkable 21.7 per cent, according to Government statisticians.

Food prices held steady in November compared to October, as did fuel and power, and clothing.

A 0.3 per cent uptick in the price of wine was a major factor in the 0.1 per cent increase in the tobacco and liquor sector.

The basket of goods used by the CPI to measure inflation, which cost $100 in April 2006, increased 0.9 per cent between October and November to $124.90.