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Annual increase in prices slows The CPI increased 0.1 percent in the year to the March 2015 quarter. This is the smallest annual movement since the September 1999 quarter, when prices decreased 0.5 percent over the year. The prices of tradable goods and services (which face foreign competition) decreased 2.8 percent in the year, with lower prices for petrol (down 15 percent) and for audio-visual and computing equipment (down 13 percent). Tradable prices are now at their lowest level since the June 2009 quarter, despite petrol prices now being 12 percent higher than they were in that quarter. Non-tradable goods and services increased 2.3 percent, the lowest annual increase since the September 2012 quarter. The main contributor was cigarettes and tobacco prices (up 14 percent), influenced by the increase in excise duty in January 2015. Housing and household utility prices were up 3.0 percent in the year, with higher prices for newly built houses excluding land (up 5.0 percent), housing rentals (up 2.3 percent), and electricity (up 3.6 percent). Excluding cigarettes and tobacco, the annual CPI decreased 0.2 percent; excluding petrol, the CPI increased 1.0 percent over the year. The CPI measures the rate of price change of goods and services purchased by New Zealand households. Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 20 April 2015 – –  ]]>