Australian inflation falls to near 2-year low

International |  IANS  | Published :

Canberra, Jan 10 (IANS) Australia's rate of inflation has fallen to its lowest level in almost two years, official data revealed on Wednesday.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 4.3 per cent in the 12 months to the end of November 2023, reports Xinhua news agency.

It marks a fall from a 4.9 per cent rise in the 12 months to the end of October 2023 and the slowest annual rate of price rises since January 2022.

State media the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported that economists were expecting inflation to come in at 4.4 per cent over the year to November.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers welcomed the data but said that inflation is still higher than the government would like.

"What this number shows is that the government's policies are helping to put downward pressure on inflation in our economy," he said at a press conference.

The ABS identified a 6.6 per cent rise in housing prices in the 12 months to November and a 4.6 per cent increase in food and non-alcoholic beverage prices as the biggest drivers of inflation over the period.

Electricity prices were 10.7 per cent higher in November 2023 than 12 months earlier and the cost of financial services were 8.8 per cent higher.

Automotive fuel prices rose 2.3 per cent in the 12 month period -- down from annual increases of 19.7 per cent in September 2023 and 8.6 per cent in October.

"This has been a significant contributor to the lower annual rise in the monthly CPI indicator over the past two months," Michelle Marquardt, head of price statistics at the ABS, said in a media release.

The prices of clothing and footwear, household equipment and services and holiday travel accommodation all fell in the year to November, the ABS said.

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