Soaring inflation data has sparked concerns that the Reserve Bank will move to lift the cash rate sooner than expected.
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday revealed the March 2011 quarter Consumer Price Index (CPI) was up 1.6 per cent for the quarter bringing the annual rate of inflation to 3.3 per cent – well above the RBA’s preferred limit.
The 1.6 per cent quarterly rise was the highest on record since the June quarter of 2006 and driven largely by the rising prices of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as petrol.
Despite the result, Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president David Airey said the RBA would not decide to push rates up too soon.
“The March figures include increases of 16 per cent for vegetables and 14.5 per cent for fruit, which are to be expected as one-off occurrences, following this year’s flooding and cyclones in Queensland and Victoria,” he said.