Aside from food & fuel, higher cost in housing boosts the level of inflation to 2.2% annual rate, the highest in more than 5 years.

• Official numbers show inflation of 1% for the 3 months ended March, pushing the annual rate to 2.2%, the highest since mid-2011.

• The rise was stronger than expected & the New Zealand dollar jumped across the board, gaining about 0.25 cents against the US dollar.

• Bad weather caused a sharp rise in fresh fruit, a jump in world oil prices forced higher fuel costs, while the strong housing market forces up the cost of new houses & rents.

• ASB chief economist says RBNZ is expected to lift the official cash rate in late 2018, around a year earlier than the RBNZ’s February view.

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