Year-on-year, cost increased less for: alcohol and tobacco (7 percent from 7.3 percent in the December quarter); housing (3.3 percent from 3.4 percent); transport (2.9 percent from 3.3 percent); education (2.6 percent from 3.2 percent) and insurance and financial services (1 percent from 1.3 percent), while inflation was steady for recreation and culture (0.6 percent). At the same time, cost of food went up 0.5 percent, rebounding from a 0.2 percent drop in the preceding quarter. It was the first food inflation since the second quarter 2017. Also, cost went up more for health (4.2 percent from 4 percent).
On the other hand, cost continued to fall for: clothing and footwear (-3.5 percent from -3 percent); furnishing, household equipment and services (-0.1 percent from -0.8 percent) and communication (-3.4 percent from -3.4 percent).
RBA Trimmed Mean CPI rose 1.9 percent year-on-year, compared to a 1.8 percent in the prior quarter and slightly below expectations of 2 percent. Quarter-on-quarter, the index increased by 0.5 percent, after a 0.4 percent rise in the prior three months and in line with estimates. RBA Weighted Mean CPI rose 2.0 percent year-on-year in the three months to March, similar from the December's quarter figure and slightly above expectations of 2 percent.
On a quarterly basis, consumer prices went up 0.4 percent, following a 0.6 percent gain in the previous period while markets estimated 0.5 percent. The most significant price rises this quarter were secondary education (3.3 percent), gas and other household fuels (6.0 percent), pharmaceutical products (5.6 percent), vegetables (3.7 percent) and medical and hospital services (1.5 percent). These rises were partially offset by falls in international holiday travel and accommodation (-2.4 percent), audio, visual, and computing media and services (-6.1 percent), and furniture (-2.8 percent).