Australia's annual core inflation was weaker than forecast in the three months through September, suggesting the central bank’s prolonged interest-rate pause has further to run.
Quarterly trimmed-mean inflation, the key core measure, rose 0.4% vs an estimated 0.4%; annual trimmed mean advanced 1.8% vs a forecast 1.9%.
Quarterly consumer price index, or headline inflation, climbed 0.4% vs estimate of 0.5%; annual CPI increased 1.9% vs forecast 1.9%.
Quarterly weighted-median gauge, also a core measure, rose 0.3% vs estimated 0.4%, while the annual gauge gained 1.7% vs a forecast 1.9%.
Aussie dollar bought 70.93 U.S. cents at 11:33 a.m. from 71.02 cents prior to report.
Australia is in a fourth year of subdued inflation, with headline prices only boosted by a spike in oil: Brent crude averaged 45 percent higher in the three months through September than the same period a year earlier. Governor Philip Lowe expects consumer prices will only gradually return to the midpoint of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s 2-3 percent target as the economy grapples with weak wages that have been the bane of much of the developed world.
Lowe is relying on an acceleration in wage growth as the impact of key recent inflation drivers -- tobacco and electricity -- begins to wane. Policy makers are banking on a record-low cash rate of 1.5 percent to help boost hiring and tighten the jobs market; traders see little chance of a hike in the next year.