Prices rise by 3.6% in year to April

Latest inflation numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show a 3.6% rise in prices in the year to April 2024.
Latest inflation numbers

Prices rose by 3.6% in the 12 months to April 2024, new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.

Inflation figures for April are up 0.1% from the previous month. It’s the second consecutive month where an increase has been observed.

It comes two weeks after the Federal Government projected that inflation could drop below 3% by the end of this year.

Latest inflation numbers

Inflation measures price growth. It uses prices in around 90 categories (e.g. fruit, rent, furniture) to measure this.

Today’s figure means everyday goods and services cost 3.6% more in April 2024 than they did last April.

While inflation increased slightly for the month, prices have been gradually falling since a 7.8% inflation peak in December 2022.

Inflation figures

Some of the biggest increases in the 12 months to April were across alcohol and tobacco prices (up 6.5%), housing (4.9%), and transport (4.2%).

The ABS also calculates a ‘seasonally adjusted’ inflation figure. This number excludes categories subject to fluctuating prices throughout the year like petrol, seasonal produce, and holiday travel.

This figure remained at 4.1% for the second consecutive month.

The cash rate

Inflation is a key consideration for the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) when it determines changes to the cash rate — the interest it charges commercial banks for short-term loans.

The RBA wants inflation to get to 2-3%. To do this, it has increased interest rates several times since 2022. The idea is that this takes money out of circulation, taking pressure off prices and reducing inflation.

It has chosen to keep the cash rate unchanged at 4.35% over its last four meetings, as inflation has continued to moderate. The RBA makes its next decision on the cash rate in mid-June.

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