Higher petrol prices, rent and mortgage costs have helped to significantly push up the cost of living for Kiwis.
The price of goods and services, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, increased 5.9 percent in the last three months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
In a Household Living Costs price index, released on Thursday, StatsNZ said the cost of living for the average Kiwi household over the three months to December 2021 was 5.2 percent higher than the same period in 2020.
Measuring how price rises affect different household groups, the data shows higher petrol prices are having a huge impact on all Kiwi households, particularly 'middle spending' households.
For these households, petrol made up 5.2 percent of total spending, compared to 4.6 percent of spending for the average household.
"Higher petrol prices have impacted middle-spending households more as they typically spend a larger proportion of their expenditure on petrol," StatsNZ consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said.
For both 'high spending' and 'middle spending' households on mid-level incomes, annual costs increased by 5.4 percent.
"This was mainly influenced by higher prices for petrol, mortgage interest payments [i.e. rising interest rates], and second-hand motor cars," StatsNZ said.
For households in the lowest spending category, annual costs increased by 4.9 percent.
For Māori households, costs increased by 5.3 percent. For superannuitants, costs increased 5 percent, and for beneficiaries, by 4.8 percent.
Price rises for Māori households slightly higher than for average households
At 5.3 percent, the increase in the cost of living for Māori households was slightly higher than for the average household, at 5.2 percent.
StatsNZ consumer prices manager Katrina Dewbery said higher petrol and rent prices and mortgage costs had an impact. Although Māori households spent a similar portion of income on petrol and interest payments, compared to the average household, they were more readily impacted by rent rises.
"Māori households spend about 20 percent of their expenditure on rent, compared with about 14 percent for the average household," Dewbury said.
Interest payments, including mortgages up 7.8 percent annually
Interest payments, including on mortgages, increased 7.8 percent.
Highest-spending households spent a larger portion of their income on interest payments, leaving them more exposed than other household groups to interest rate rises.
"Highest-spending households spend 7.3 percent of their expenditure on interest payments, compared with 4.6 percent for the average household," Dewbery said.
On a quarterly basis (the December 2021 quarter compared to the September 2021 quarter), price rises for all households were up 1.2 percent.