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Inflation edges up: ABS

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Inflation was 1.6% higher for the March quarter than a year ago, according to the ABS.

The first-quarter Consumer Price Index CPI was 0.1% up compared to the December quarter.

The report shows headline inflation fell below the central bank’s target band of 2-3% for the first time in 2½ years.

Pharmaceutical products rose 14.1%, secondary education was up 7.7%, automotive fuel was up 2.5%, medical and hospital services increased 2.1%, the cost of tertiary education went up 4.7% and rents rose 1.0%.

Fresh fruit was down 30%.

International holiday travel and accommodation, furniture, audiovisual and computing equipment and domestic holiday travel all came down.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has indicated the low level of inflation may clear the way for a cash rate cut next month.

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