by Lucy Craymer
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Consumer inflation in New Zealand beat expectations in the third quarter and remained at record highs amid widespread price pressures.
Annual inflation rose 7.2 percent in the third quarter, down from a 7.3 percent rise in the second quarter and just below a 30-year high, Statistics New Zealand said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.2% sequentially, following a 1.7% rise in the second quarter. The data beat economists’ expectations for growth of 1.6% for the quarter and 6.7% for the year, according to a Reuters poll.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) has raised interest rates to 3. from a record low of 0.% in October last year %. It has said it will raise the cash rate further to curb inflation.
The New Zealand dollar edged higher after data showed higher-than-expected inflation.
The main drivers of annual inflation of 7.2% were construction, local price increases, government taxes and housing rents, Statistics New Zealand said in a statement.
“The cost of building new homes continues to rise as supply chain issues, labour costs and demand increase, all of which have combined to drive up prices” Stats NZ Price Senior Manager Nicola Growden said.
Stats NZ added that annual non-traded inflation – products made in New Zealand for domestic consumption – rose 6.6%, the latest to track the data since June 2002.