WELLINGTON, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Inflation in New Zealand has risen by less than 1 percent in the year to September, the smallest annual increase since December 1999, said Statistics New Zealand on Tuesday.
The Consumers Price Index - the official measure of inflation - has risen 0.8 percent for the year to September, driven by price rises in cigarettes and tobacco, house rentals and electricity.
The annual rate of inflation is below the Reserve Bank's target of 1 percent to 3 percent.
Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon said the cost of domestic air fares and communication services dropped due to more competition, and used car prices also fell, Radio New Zealand reported.
For the third quarter this year, the Consumers Price Index rose 0.3 percent, Statistics New Zealand said.
Higher housing-related prices and the cost of vegetables were offset by cheaper transport, telecommunication services and fresh milk, it added.