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Australian CPI Sees Smallest Annual Increase In May 2023

According to the latest data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicator recorded a 5.6 per cent rise in the 12 months leading up to May 2023.

Michelle Marquardt, ABS head of prices statistics, said this month’s annual increase of 5.6 per cent had been the smallest increase since April last year.

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“While prices have kept rising for most goods and services, many increases were smaller than we have seen in recent months,” Ms Marquardt said.

She said certain factors contributing to CPI inflation, such as automotive fuel, fruit and vegetable, and holiday travel, often experience volatile prices. 

The most significant contributors to the annual increase in the monthly CPI indicator in May were Housing (+8.4 per cent), Food and non-alcoholic beverages (+7.9 per cent), and Furniture, household equipment and services (+6 per cent). 

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“Rent price increases went up again from an annual rise of 6.1 per cent in April to 6.3 per cent in May as the rental market remains tight,” she said.

Automotive fuel prices witnessed a decline of 8.0 per cent compared to 12 months ago, with a further decrease of 6.7 per cent in May alone.

“Within the Housing group, New dwelling prices rose 8.3 per cent, which is the lowest annual growth since November 2021, as building material price increases continue to ease,” she added.

The announcement of the lower inflation rate in May has led investors to anticipate a possible pause by the Reserve Bank in its next meeting rather than another rate hike.

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