Australia’s inflation rate has reached its highest level in more than 20 years, with consumers paying more for everything.
According to ABS data released on Wednesday, the Consumer Price Index increased by 1.8 percent in the June quarter and by 6.1 percent over the previous year.
According to Xinhua, the figure is the highest since 2001 and the second-highest quarterly increase since the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented in 2000.
In the year to June, automotive fuel prices increased by 32.1 percent, while new house prices increased by 20.3 percent.
“Shortages of building supplies and labour, high freight costs and ongoing high levels of construction activity continued to contribute to price rises for newly built dwellings,” said Michelle Marquardt, head of Prices Statistics at the ABS.
“The CPI’s automotive fuel series reached a record level for the fourth consecutive quarter. Fuel prices rose strongly over May and June, following a fall in April due to the fuel excise cut.”
As a result of catastrophic flooding along much of the east coast earlier this year, the price of vegetables increased by 7.3 percent in the June quarter alone, while the price of fruit increased by 3.7%.
According to the ABS, supply chain disruptions caused by flooding, labour shortages, and rising freight costs all contributed to higher prices.
In response to the data, Treasurer Jim Chalmers warned that things would “get tougher” for Australians “before they get easier” near the end of 2022.
Chalmers will deliver a “confronting” ministerial statement on the economy to Parliament on Thursday.
“It is not news to millions of Australians who feel its inflation challenge, every time they go to the supermarket and every time the bills arrive,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“This inflation outcome today mirrors the lived experience of Australians who are doing it tough right now.”
The figures are expected to prompt the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) board of directors to raise interest rates at their meeting next week.