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CPI hides housing crisis: Greens

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/04/2016
Julie Anne Genter. Julie Anne Genter.

Another interest rate cut will pour fuel on the housing price fire, the Greens say.

There's speculation the Reserve Bank will again cut the official cash rate after a report released on Monday showed inflation rose just 0.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

In March the bank cut the OCR to a record low 2.25 per cent.

Its next review is on April 28.

The Greens say the consumer price index hides the way the housing crisis is hitting peoples' pockets.

"Lower oil prices mean the CPI is hiding the fact the cost of housing, especially rental housing in Auckland, is rising much faster than wages and other prices," said finance spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter.

"Low inflation makes it more likely the Reserve Bank will cut the OCR again soon, which could just pour more fuel on the housing crisis fire."

But Finance Minister Bill English says that overall, people are reaping benefits.

"Low inflation is helping households get ahead, with wages on average continuing to rise faster than the cost of living," he said.

"We are in the unusual situation of having solid economic growth, more jobs and rising wages at the same time as very low interest rates and inflation."

\ Bill English © Getty Bill English

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