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Financial News: Australia Inflation Exceeds Expectations In May

Australia Inflation Exceeds Expectations In May

06/26/2024 - 02:17:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia inflation accelerated more than expected in May, suggesting the Reserve Bank will remain hawkish at the August meeting.

Consumer price inflation rose to 4.0 percent in May from 3.6 percent in April, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported Wednesday. Inflation was expected to rise to 3.8 percent.

At the same time, core inflation that excludes volatile items and holiday travel also came in at 4.0 percent but it came down from 4.1 percent in April.

Annual trimmed mean inflation accelerated to 4.4 percent in May from 4.1 percent in April.

The most significant contributors to the annual increase were housing, food and non-alcoholic beverages, transport and alcohol and tobacco prices.

Housing cost moved up 5.2 percent and rents gained 7.4 percent due to a tight rental market across the country.

Automotive fuel prices surged 9.3 percent in May driven by higher wholesale fuel prices in early 2024. Reflecting the gradual unwinding of the Energy Bill Relief Fund rebates, electricity prices advanced 6.5 percent.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will debate interest rate hikes for a while yet as inflation has accelerated again in May, Capital Economics' economist Marcel Thieliant said.

"With GDP growth in fact falling short of the Bank's forecasts, we think the Bank will take the upside surprise in its stride, though we still think it will cut interest rates only in Q1 2025 rather than in Q4 this year as most anticipate," the economist added.

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