Sydney, Australia, Apr 27 (EFE).- Australia registered a 5.1 percent increase in inflation between February 2021 and March 2022, the highest in more than two decades, driven by higher dwelling construction costs and automotive fuel prices, the country’s statistical agency announced on Wednesday.
The increase in the consumer price index (CPI), the indicator used to measure inflation, is the highest since June 2001, when it expanded by 6.1 percent.
The CPI also rose 2.1 percent between January and March of this year compared to the previous quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said in a statement.
The annual increase, which is well above the Reserve Bank of Australia’s target of up to 3 percent, was spurred by an increase in the prices of new dwellings (13.7 percent) and automobile fuel (35.1 percent).
“Strong demand combined with material and labor supply disruptions throughout the year resulted in the highest annual inflation for new dwellings since the introduction of the GST,” Head of Prices Statistics at the ABS, Michelle Marquardt, said.
Following the rise in inflation, analysts believe that the Reserve Bank will increase interest rates, currently at 0.1 percent, on Tuesday.
This may pose a major challenge for the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is seeking re-election in the May 21 polls amid concerns about the high cost of living in the country. EFE