Skip to content

Cost of living challenge eases, but continues to fall hardest on low income earners

Image of NZCTU Economist Craig Renney

The cost-of-living challenges for working people eased slightly with inflation data showing a softer than expected 6.7%, well below market expectations said New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Economist Craig Renney.

This data is in line with falls in international inflation in the US, Canada, and the European Union.

Renney said “It’s only one data point, and we should be cautious, but hopefully this shows the start of a slowing in inflation across New Zealand.

However, the data provided showed that inflation is still concentrated in those areas which impact the lowest income households. Food prices increased 11.3%, with fruit and vegetables rising 20%. Milk, cheese and eggs rose 15%. 

Whereas the prices for the audio-visual equipment fell -11.4% and major household appliances rose 0.3%. Higher costs are falling on those who have the least ability to pay. Those prices that you can’t escape are rising, whereas prices for discretionary items such as computers are rising less quickly.

 “This data supports the call for the Reserve Bank to be cautious about further rate rises, and to wait for more evidence before further rises.

“Inflation globally is falling, and interest rate rises that simply lead to higher levels of unemployment should be avoided. It also demonstrates the value of the recent increase in the Minimum Wage and Living Wage to protect those New Zealanders most vulnerable to price changes.”