Sydney, Australia, Apr 21 (EFE).- New Zealand’s annual inflation posted its biggest increase in more than 30 years at 6.9 percent, the country’s official data agency said Thursday.
Public agency Stats NZ said the consumer price index, which measures inflation, also rose 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the December 2021 quarter, spurred by higher petrol prices.
The annual inflation, lower than the projections of experts – who had predicted it to be above 7 percent – was driven mainly by the rise in the prices housing construction, which at 18 percent was the highest increase since first being measured in 1985.
“Construction firms have been experiencing many supply-chain issues, higher labor costs, and also higher demand, which have pushed up the cost of building a new house,” said Aaron Beck, senior prices manager at Stats NZ.
Petrol prices also soared 32 percent in the 12 months to Mar. 31, the largest increase since 1985, according to the agency.
“These are challenging times for the global economy with significant increases in food and fuel prices hitting all nations,” New Zealand Finance Minister Grant Robertson said in a statement.
“New Zealand cannot be immune to these challenges and the government can’t control the price of food or petrol,” he added.
Concerns about rising inflation in the nation prompted the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to raise interest rates to 1.5 percent this month. EFE