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Australia TD Inflation Gauge Rises Toward Midpoint of RBA Target

A private gauge of Australian annual inflation rose in September to near the middle of the central bank’s 2 percent to 3 percent target as the costs of fruit and vegetables advanced.

Consumer prices increased 2.4 percent last month from a year earlier, an index compiled by TD Securities Inc. and the Melbourne Institute released in Sydney today showed. Prices rose 0.2 percent from August, when they gained 0.6 percent.

Investors are pricing in a greater-than-80-percent chance Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens and his board will cut the nation’s benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 3.25 percent at tomorrow’s policy meeting. That contrasts with a majority of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News including Annette Beacher, head of Asia-Pacific research for TD Securities, predicting a fourth-straight pause.

“Tomorrow’s RBA meeting will be a close call, but on balance we think the cash rate will be left unchanged,” said Singapore-based Beacher. “Waiting for another monthly data suite is prudent,” she said, referring to coming releases including Australian third-quarter inflation and gross domestic product for China.

Today’s inflation gauge release from TD Securities showed fruit and vegetables prices rose 6.3 percent in September. Prices also climbed for local holiday travel and accommodation, and automotive fuel prices. The cost of rents, footwear, and audio, visual and computing equipment and services declined, the gauge showed.

The Melbourne Institute is a research unit of Melbourne University, and TD Securities is a division of Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canada’s second-largest lender. The monthly inflation index measures the prices of more than 1,000 goods and services.

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