Cigarettes and health care help push CPI up

AUSSIES spending more on cigarettes, furniture and medical services helped the nation's inflation rate rise 0.4% in the June quarter.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest consumer price index data on Wednesday.

While many economists picked a likely 0.5% rise, they weren't far off with the 0.4% rise in the June quarter, which pushed the inflation rate to 2.4% to end of June.

The inflation rise was driven primarily by a 3.4% rise in spending on medical and hospital services, a 3% rise in tobacco spending and 4.8% rise in furniture purchases.

Other rises included a 0.9% rise in new homes bought by owner-occupiers and a 1.1% rise in rents across the nation.

Offsetting the inflation were significant drops in the cost of domestic holiday travel and accommodation, down 4%, and the cost of petrol and gas, down 3.1% in the June quarter.

Inflation rose 2.4% in the year to June, compared with a rise of 2.5% in the year to the March quarter.

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