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Australia’s inflation falls to lowest in 12 months

Canberra, Aug 30 (IANS) Falling produce and fuel prices have eased Australia’s rate of inflation to its lowest level in over 12 months, official data revealed on Wednesday.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the consumer price index (CPI) rose by 4.9 per cent in the 12 months to the end of July, down from 5.4 per cent in June, reports Xinhua news agency.

It is the lowest annual CPI figure since April 2022 and was described by Treasurer Jim Chalmers at a press conference as an “encouraging result”.

“It’s pleasing to see inflation is moderating but we know it will remain higher than we’d like for longer than we’d like,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

The ABS said fuel prices fell 7.6 per cent between July 2022 and 2023, while fruit and vegetable prices were down 5.4 per cent.

Housing costs increased 7.3 per cent in the 12-month span — down from 7.4 per cent in the 12 months to June — and food and non-alcoholic beverage prices by 5.6 per cent — down from 7.0 percent in June.

“Food inflation continues to ease across most categories, while fruit and vegetable prices fell 5.4 per cent compared to 12 months ago due to favourable growing conditions leading to increased supply,” Michelle Marquardt, ABS head of prices statistics, said in a media release.

Electricity prices rose 15.7 per cent in the 12 month period compared to 10.2 per cent in June, whereas the rise in gas prices eased from 22.2 per cent in June to 13.9 per cent in July.

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