Australia Inflation


Inflation flat in fourth quarter

In the fourth quarter, consumer prices were unchanged over the previous quarter, which was below both the 0.6% rise recorded in the third quarter as well as market expectations of a 0.2% increase. Lower prices for food (-1.5% quarter-on-quarter) and healthcare (-1.2% qoq) offset higher prices for communications (+1.1% qoq) as well as for alcohol and tobacco (+0.9% qoq). Annual headline inflation edged down from 3.5% in the third quarter to 3.1% in the fourth. For the whole 2011, annual average inflation reached 3.4%, which was above the average 2.8% inflation recorded in 2010. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) sees inflation ending this year at 3.25%. The RBA maintains a medium-term annual average inflation target of 2.0% - 3.0%.

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