Date: May 05 2012
A lack of government funding is the only thing stopping the Reserve Bank of Australia receiving more frequent inflation figures to consider at its monthly interest rate meetings, leaving the RBA as the only G20 central bank working with out-of-date data.
The RBA, which has been criticised this week, relies on quarterly inflation data rather than monthly figures. Before this week's decision, it endured a three-month vacuum, where no new official inflation figures were available, even though fresh debt turmoil in Europe had dented local confidence. Economists said that meant the bank was caught on the hop by a drop in inflation in the first three months of the year. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates it would cost $6 million to start publishing a monthly CPI series, with an additional annual $15 million to keep it going. The ABS only publishes inflation figures quarterly now because of the expense. Gareth Hutchens
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