Aust CPI rose 0.2% in Dec qtr

The price of Australian consumer goods and services rose 2.2 per cent in the year to December, a slower rise than economists had expected.

The consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, rose 0.2 per cent in the December quarter, after rising by 1.4 per cent in the September quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday.

The CPI was expected to rise by 0.5 per cent in the December quarter for an annual rate of 2.5 per cent, according to an AAP survey of 15 economists.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has a target range for annual inflation of two to three per cent, and the latest figures will inform its February 5 interest rate decision.

The cash rate is currently at three per cent following the RBA's decision to cut by a quarter of a percentage point in December.

Seasonally adjusted CPI rose 0.5 per cent in the December quarter, and was up 2.2 per cent in the 12 months to December.

The trimmed mean CPI rose 0.6 per cent in the December quarter, for an annual growth rate of 2.3 per cent, data from the ABS showed.

The weighted median CPI rose 0.5 per cent in the December quarter, for an annual rise of 2.3 per cent.

The ABS calculates the trimmed mean and weighted median measures on behalf of the RBA, which uses them to gauge the underlying trend in inflation.

Unlike the headline CPI, the RBA's underlying measures are subject to revision due to the seasonal adjustment of some of their components.

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