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December quarter CPI



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TREASURER

EMBARGO 12 noon

PRESS RELEASE NO. 9.

STATEMENT BY THE TREASURER, THE HON JOHN HOWARD, MP

DECEMBER QUARTER CPI

The December quarter increase in the Consumer Price Index of 3 per cent is, if anything, a little lower

than might have been expected.

As I said in the Budget speech, the rise in the Index

in the December quarter was likely to be relatively large due to the effects within that quarter of both increased health costs and petrol price rises.

This has, in fact, occurred. .

Australia's inflation rate as measured by the Consumer

Price Index was 10 per cent over 1979. Although this is higher than over 1978 it is significantly below the average of industrialised countries.

In fact, Australia's competitive position as determined

by relative rates of inflation is now much stronger thain it was a year ago. This has been reflected in our

strengthened export performance over recent months.

However, today's result gives no cause for complacency nor

will it encourage any relaxation by the Government of its policies of fiscal and monetary restraint which have contributed so much to a strengthening of the fundamentals of the Australian economy over the past few years.

CANBERRA

25 January 1980