Inflation at lowest rate in 2½ years
The annual rate of inflation fell to 0.8 per cent in November last year — the lowest rate of increase in the cost of living recorded since June 2016.
The Consumer Price Index, which measures price movements through a basket of goods and services, found that the inflation rate fell from 1.1 per cent in October.
Between October and November last year, the average cost of goods and services in the CPI fell 0.2 per cent.
The all-items index decreased to 105 in November. This means that the basket of goods and services that cost $100 in April 2015 now costs $105.
The 3 per cent increase in the health and personal care sector, driven by the cost of health insurance, was a driver of overall inflation.
Prices in the fuel and power sector increased 7 per cent year over year. The education, recreation, entertainment and reading sector saw price inflation of 1.5 per cent.
In the month-to-month analysis, the fuel adjustment charge on electricity bills fell 1.8 per cent from October to November. As a result the fuel and power sector fell 0.6 per cent for the month.
Food prices fell 0.1 per cent. Price declines were reported in the average cost of fresh and frozen chicken (-8.2 per cent), frozen entrées (-7.6 per cent) and chocolates and candies (-1.3 per cent).
In the household goods and services sector, the average cost of cell phones and telephones dropped 5.1 per cent, while electrical appliance prices climbed 1.6 per cent.
The transport and power sector fell 1.5 per cent in November, as the cost of premium gas fell 5.3 per cent and overseas car rental prices dipped 4.3 per cent.