Consumer prices are rising 5.1% annually, up 2.1% in the March quarter, the biggest increase since the introduction of the GST

The consumer price index for the March quarter jumped 2.1%, with an annual inflation rate of 5.1%, up from 3.5% previously.

Core inflation – which dampens volatile price swings and is more crucial to the outlook for interest rates – jumped from 1.4% to 3.7% for the year.

This is the first time the underlying rate has exceeded the Reserve Bank of Australia’s 2-3% target since early 2010.

The result could put pressure on the RBA to raise the cash rate by a record 0.1% at its board meeting next Tuesday.

The RBA has previously said it wants to see a significant pay rise before taking action and may be reluctant to move during a federal election campaign.


But global inflation is on the move, as are other central banks, which argues for an RBA move sooner rather than later.

“The only real argument for delaying now is the current federal election – as was last the case in 2007, this is another good opportunity for the RBA to once again demonstrate its independence,” the economist said. BetaShares Chief David Bassanese.

A rise in the cash rate will force banks to increase borrowing costs for households and businesses.

“People who now live in cars”

Cassandra Goldie – CEO of the Australian Council for Social Services (ACOSS) – said rising inflation was having a devastating impact on the lives of low-income people.

“For very low-income people, and there’s about 2.4 million people surviving on less than $70 a day, many of them on that JobSeeker payment of $46 a day, are absolutely crushed by what’s going on there, especially with the increase in rents,” Ms. Goldie told ABC News on Wednesday.

“Nationally, we have seen increases of up to 20% in regional Australia and in cities of around 14% since the start of the pandemic. »

Ms Goldie said ACOSS was concerned about people facing eviction due to the rising cost of living.

“We are worried about people who are now living in cars. This is the reality of what is happening. We know that. And this food is definitely becoming a discretionary item for those most in need.

“We’ve seen over a million people come to food banks in Australia.”

Ms Goldie said the government should raise the income support rate to at least $70 a day.

“These numbers today should really confuse us all when it comes to very low income people. And, of course, wage growth is also not where it should be,” he said. she stated.

Treasurer says war in Europe responsible for high prices

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said global factors such as high oil prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and supply chain disruptions are putting pressure on household budgets in Australia.

“That’s why in the budget we committed to a temporary, targeted and responsible cost-of-living package,” Frydenberg told AAP before the figures were released.

The first $250 cost-of-living payments will hit the bank accounts of millions of eligible retirees, income assistance recipients, veterans and concession cardholders this week.

Lower fuel excise duties, along with a slump in global oil prices, had brought some relief to the bowser after gasoline prices rose above $2 a liter in the March quarter.

However, last week the Australian Petroleum Institute said the national average petrol price rose 2.6 cents to 168.9 cents per litre, ending four weeks of declines.

Consumer confidence eased slightly last week, coinciding with the modest increase in gas prices.

The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index – a guide to future household spending – fell 0.3% to 96.5.

A level below 100 indicates that the pessimists outweigh the optimists.

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