Banking and property bucking inflation trend

Financial services and housing prices have been growing faster than the inflation rate.

The Consumer Price Index climbed 1.3 per cent during the 12 months to 31 March 2015, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

That marked a significant decline compared with the 1.7 per cent rate for the 2014 calendar year.

In the March quarter, prices in the insurance and financial services group rose at an annualised rate of 1.8 per cent, compared to 0.2 per cent in the December quarter.

The main contributor was financial services prices, which rose 2.3 per cent.

Prices in the housing group grew 2.7 per cent in the March quarter after growing 0.8 per cent in the December quarter.

That was driven by a 4.8 per cent price rise for new home purchases by owner-occupiers and a 2.1 per cent rise in rents – although this was partially offset by a 3.9 per cent fall in electricity prices.

The groups that recorded the highest inflation figures were education with 5.4 per cent, alcohol and tobacco with 5.2 per cent and health with 4.4 per cent.

Prices declined in another three groups – transport by 6.2 per cent, communication by 4.5 per cent, and clothing and footwear by 0.7 per cent.

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