N.Z. Inflation Quickens as RBNZ Prepares to Raise Rates in 2014

New Zealand inflation accelerated faster than economists forecast in the third quarter, ending more than a year of subdued price pressure and underpinning the Reserve Bank’s case to start raising interest rates in 2014.

Consumer prices rose 0.9 percent from the second quarter, when they gained 0.2 percent, Statistics New Zealand said in Wellington today. Economists forecast a 0.8 percent increase, according to the median of 12 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

The annual rate climbed to 1.4 percent, the highest in 18 months and back within the RBNZ’s 1-percent-to-3-percent target band for the first time since the second quarter of last year.

“The sub-1-percent period of inflation has now come to an end,” Nick Tuffley, chief economist at ASB Bank Ltd. in Auckland, said before today’s report. “This is the point at which we expect to see the CPI jump up reasonably substantially and then grind higher.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Brockett in Wellington at mbrockett1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net

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