◘ Annual CPI inflation increased to 3.5 percent in the December quarter, due to higher dwelling construction costs and automotive fuel prices.
◘ Trimmed mean annual inflation, which excludes large price rises and falls, increased to 2.6 percent, the highest since June 2014.
◘ Rising construction costs drive higher prices for new dwellings
◘ High levels of building construction activity combined with shortages of materials and labour have contributed to two consecutive quarters of the largest rise in new dwelling prices since September 2000, following the introduction of the GST.
◘ Fewer payments of Government construction grants compared to the previous quarter also contributed to the rise this quarter.
◘ These grants have the effect of reducing out-of-pocket expenses for new dwellings being purchased.

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