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THE NEWS WRAP: Higher than expected inflation figures

Thursday, 24 October 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

The Consumer Price Index increased by a higher than expected 1.2% in the quarter to September, pushing the annual inflation rate up to 2.2%.


The official figure came in significantly higher than the 0.8% tipped by economists and 1.2% for the year, but still remains within the Reserve Bank’s target range.


The result means the RBA is more likely to keep rates on hold over the coming months.


The biggest increase was in water and sewerage, up 9.9% during the quarter, followed by fuel prices (up 7.6%) and council rates (7.9%), while the rising Aussie dollar pushed the price of overseas holidays up 6.1%.


Bank complaints down by 11%


The number of complaints about banks and financial institutions fell by 11% during 2012/13 to 32,307, according to new figures published by the Financial Services Ombudsman.


Tougher insurance laws including a new national flood definition and better hardship programs by banks have been credited for the fall.


“Recent events have shown that through natural disasters, claims have been high but we certainly have not seen the number of disputes we saw as a result of the Queensland floods and other natural disasters,” chief ombudsman Shane Tregillis says.


Home loans and credit cards were the most common source of complaint, now accounting for 49% of all disputes.


Telstra anticipates $11 billion deal will remain


Telstra has told investors it anticipates any new NBN arrangements will protect the value of its $11 billion deal with the federal government.


The comments come as the NBN Co conducts a 60-day strategic review into the rollout of the national broadband network.


“We will do this in a way that seeks to protect shareholders' interests all the way through. We did this last time under much more trying circumstances,” Telstra’s head of corporate affairs, Tony Warren, says.


“We anticipate that the result of [the 60-day] reviews will be a move to a multi-technology solution for the NBN.”




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 0.35% to 15413.33. The Aussie dollar is at US96.28 cents.