Rising Household Expenses in New Zealand Amid Slightly Eased Inflation


Despite a slight easing in overall consumer price inflation, New Zealand households continue to experience a surge in living costs. The Statistics New Zealand recently released the Consumer Price Index, measuring the impact of inflation on various household groups. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the findings and examine how inflation has affected living expenses for households in the country.

  1. Inflation vs. Household Living Costs:

While annual inflation stood at 6% until the 2nd quarter, household living costs saw a higher increase of 7.2%. However, this figure represents a slight decrease from the previous quarter’s 7.7%.

  1. Food Prices: The Key Driver:

Food-related expenses emerged as the most significant factor contributing to the rise in annual inflation. Over the past year, average household grocery prices surged by 12.7%.

  1. Varied Impact on Household Groups:

During the 2nd quarter, the household group with the highest spending experienced a 7.8% increase in living costs, followed closely by Maori households with a 7.1% rise.

  1. Lowest Spending Households Affected Too:

Even the lowest-spending household group witnessed a 6.9% increase in living costs over the year. During the 2nd quarter, living expenses for all household groups rose by 1.4%.

  1. Cash Flow Pressure:

ASB Bank, in its economic weekly report, highlighted that despite a gradual decline in high inflation and adjustments in mortgage rates, increased mortgage repayments continue to create significant cash flow pressure for households.

  1. Potential Relief in Housing Market:

ASB Bank also stated that the signals of a stabilizing housing market and nearing peak interest rates might offer some reassurance to household sentiment.

  1. Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Review:

In its July monetary policy review, the central bank anticipated short-term declining inflation and thus maintained the benchmark interest rate at 5.5% for the first time in about two years.


The recent data on rising household expenses in New Zealand, despite a slightly eased inflation rate, indicates the ongoing challenges faced by households in managing their living costs. The significant increase in food prices has been a major driving force behind the inflation surge. While the central bank’s decision to maintain interest rates might provide some respite, households are still grappling with cash flow pressures. As the economic landscape continues to evolve, households are likely to closely monitor inflation trends and adapt their budgeting strategies accordingly to ensure financial stability in the long run.