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NEW ZEALAND: Ahead of tonight's NZ CPI release at 2245GMT, analysts at ANZ
expect headline inflation to rise 0.4% q/q in the 2018 March quarter. This would
see annual inflation dip to 1.0%, slightly below the RBNZ's February MPS
forecast of 0.6% q/q and 1.1% y/y. However, ANZ note there are a number of
temporary factors at play including policy changes and base effects.
- Westpac expect a 0.5% rise in consumer prices for the March quarter, barring
any major surprise in March food prices (released on Monday). This would bring
annual inflation down from 1.6% to 1.1%, the lowest since September 2016. There
are two factors behind the drop in annual inflation. The first is the
introduction of a years' free tertiary education, which we estimate will take
0.2% off the CPI. The second is base effects: a surge in oil prices a year ago
saw annual inflation rise to 2.2% in March 2017, before dropping back to 1.7% in