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Inflation a ‘dragon to slay’ says Treasurer Chalmers as CPI hits new high

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has termed Australia’s soaring inflation a ‘dragon’ to be slayed even as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) records its highest figures in more than three decades.

According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today, the country’s CPI rose 1.8 per cent in the September quarter to now stand at 7.3 per cent year-on-year.

The increase has been largely attributed to rising energy costs (+10.9 per cent). Other significant contributors were furniture (+6.6 per cent) and new dwellings (+3.7 per cent).

The figures come a day after the Albanese government’s first federal budget announcement, where cost-of-living pressures remained front and centre.

“We see what rising prices means for families taking more from hip pockets and pushing people closer to the edge,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers told reporters in a National Press Club address.

“Whether it’s food, whether it’s electricity, whether it’s rent, inflation is public enemy number one. Inflation is the dragon we need to slay.”

The annual CPI movement of 7.3 per cent is the highest since 1990.

Goods continue to drive inflation, accounting for a little over three years of the rise in the past year. Meanwhile, high construction costs, along with labour shortages in the construction sector, continue to drive up the prices of new dwellings.

In the last quarter, dairy products saw the largest price hike at 6.8 per cent, followed by fruits and vegetables at 4.5 per cent.

Per recent projections, inflation will peak at 7.7 per cent by the end of the year.

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ALSO READ: Budget 2022: how it affects business

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Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea L Nath is a Sydney-based writer and editor. In 2022, she was named Young Journalist of the Year at the NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards.

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