Consumer prices jumped by a larger than expected 1.4 per cent in the September quarter, new figures show, driven up by the health and housing sectors.
In the first measure of the consumer price index since the introduction of the carbon tax, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported housing prices lifted by 3.2 per cent through the quarter while health costs jumped by 2.4 per cent.
The quarterly increase left the annual rate of inflation at 2 per cent.
But there were also increases in the underlying measures of inflation used by the Reserve Bank, lifting by 0.75 per cent for an annual rate of 2.5 per cent.
It slightly reduces the chance of an interest rate cut at the Reserve's meeting on Melbourne Cup Day, with the Australian dollar lifting slightly after the release of the figures.
The biggest individual price rises through the quarter were for electricity, up by 15.3 per cent, gas and other household fuels (by 14.2 per cent), international holiday travel and accommodation (by 6.6 per cent) and for hospital services (by 4.5 per cent).
Overall food prices increased by 1.9 per cent, driven up by a 10.5 per cent lift in vegetable prices and a 9.7 per cent jump in fruit prices. However, lamb and got prices fell by 2.3 per cent while other meats prices declined by 1.3 per cent.
There were other price falls through the quarter, led by a 3.9 per cent drop in petrol prices and a one per cent decline in car prices.In Perth, overall prices were up by 1.1 per cent in the quarter to be two per cent higher than a year ago.
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