Latest CPI shows inflation in Australia continue to moderate: Treasurer

13:24, October 27, 2010      

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Australian Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan on Wednesday said the latest consumer price index (CPI) figures show inflation is continuing to moderate.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released on Wednesday, Australia's headline CPI rose 0.7 percent in the September quarter, for an annual rate of 2.8 percent.

The figures were less than economists had predicted.

Meanwhile, underlying inflation, which is at 2.4 percent, had returned to around the middle of the Reserve Bank's preferred target band. This is the lowest underlying inflation rate in five years.

"Today's inflation figures show that both CPI inflation and underlying inflation in Australia have continued to moderate," Swan told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the rising Australian dollar was helping to moderate price pressures, at the same time make it harder for some businesses in trade-exposed sectors, Swan said.

The treasurer acknowledged the latest data showed many Australians were still doing it tough, especially with higher utility bills to put further pressures on family budgets.

It was why the government was moving to build capacity by investing in infrastructure and cutting business taxes, Swan said.

Meanwhile, ABC News on Wednesday said analysts expected that the latest CPI figures will remove some urgency for the Reserve Bank to lift rates next month.

However, there is almost certainly to be another string of rate rises at some point over the next year, even if borrowers escape any additional mortgage pain before Christmas.

The Australian dollar plunged almost a cent in less than half an hour after the data came out, from about 98.6 to 97.7 U.S. cents at 12:09 p.m. (AEDT).

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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